The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition Races & Character Customization in Skyrim

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition Races & Character Customization in Skyrim 1 -
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition Races & Character Customization in Skyrim 1 -

A guide to the different races & character customisation in Skyrim.


Hello! Welcome to this guide in which I will try & educate you on which race to choose for your skyrim play through. All races are different & have different starting stats & each unique abilities that can be extremely useful or very situational.
Also, the look of your character will make absolutely 0 difference to your play through except maybe getting cool screenshots (if you ever take your helmet off). Due to this, and the fact it’s all based on personal opinion, I will only briefly be going over this area of the character creation.


There are 10 playable races in Skyrim. Each race will start with 1 skill at level 25, 5 skills at 20 & the rest at 15.
Additional info can be found here: Skyrim Wiki – [] 

High Elf

Level 25 Skill: Illusion (magic)
This is useful if you would like to be an illusion mage as you can easily cast more potent illusion magic at lower levels meaning you can level it up faster.
Level 20 Skills: Conjuration (magic), Destruction (magic), Restoration (magic), Alteration (magic) & Enchanting.
As said previously this is a very useful race if you’d like to be a mage as all magic skills are naturally higher.
Unique Ability: Highborn
This ability allows you to regenerate 25% of your magicka (mana) per second for 60 seconds. By now i’m sure you’ve realised that this race is clearly suited to being a mage & your best bet for a full on mage build.
Starting Spell: Fury
All Races start with flames & healing however starting with fury is unique to High Elves & can be very useful for upgrading illusion magic early game.
Passive Effect: +50 Magicka
More mana. What more could you want on a mage build?

Wood Elf

Level 25 Skill: Archery
Wood Elves are archers. Plain & simple they are suited for stealth archer builds & do it brilliantly.
Level 20 Skills: Light Armour, Sneak, Lockpicking, Pickpocket, Alchemy.
As i said, they are very good for stealth builds. Plus they have a slight boost in alchemy for when later on into your playthrough you’ve decided to dupe Jarrin roots or something.
Unique Ability: Command Animal
This ability allows you to make one animal your ally for 60 seconds which can be extremely useful if used in the right situation however will likely not influence your gameplay very heavily.
Passive Effects: 50% Disease Resistance, 50% Poison Resistance
Very useful passive abilities you won’t notice but will be silently helping you when that one ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ bear gives you bone break fever.

Dark Elf

Level 25 Skill: Destruction (magic)
Another magic user, like the High Elf, this can be extremely useful if you’re planning on running a mage build plus this will be extremely useful in Helgen as you burn everyone to the ground.
Level 20 Skills: Light Armour, Sneak, Alchemy, Illusion (magic), Alteration (magic)
A magic user open to a little stealth, Dark Elves are very good for a stealth build or a mage build, if you’re on the fence, here’s the race for you.
Unique Ability: Ancestor’s Wrath
An ability that surrounds the character in fire for 60 seconds. This ability can turn tides in tough fights as anyone that steps near you will begin taking large amounts of fire damage.
Starting Spell: Sparks
This is another destruction magic that will drain more mana than flames but subsequently deal more damage, variety is always important.
Passive Effect: 50% Fire Resistance
Very useful against a lot of different enemies, including uhh a large majority of dragons, the staple of Skyrim.

Argonian (lizard)

Level 25 Skill: Lockpicking
A fairly boring skill compared to most, lockpicking in Skyrim isn’t the most fun thing so at least starting with a higher level means you’ll have to do it less! Doesn’t mean you’ll put any skill points into it though.
Level 20 Skills: Light Armour, Sneak, Pickpocket, Restoration (magic), Alteration (magic)
Skills geared towards stealth & magic use allowing for, similar to the Dark Elf, different styles of play.
Unique Ability: Histskin
As DougDoug – []  called it, a super saiyan ability that allows you to regenerate your health 10x faster for 60 seconds which is extremely useful & perhaps one of the best in the game.
Passive Effects: 50% Disease Resistance, Waterbreathing
Disease Resistance good, helping you from the background blah blah blah. Waterbreathing however is unique to Argonians & isn’t all the useful really as there’s not much underwater. However, it will likely save you an enchantment slot late game on your helmet.

Khajiit (cat)

Level 25 Skill: Sneak
Cats are very sneaky. Perfect for a stealth build.
Level 20 Skills: One Handed, Archery, Lockpicking, Pickpocket, Alchemy
Split between warrior & stealth perks, Khajiits are very good for dealing damage & sticking to the shadows.
Unique Ability: Night Eye
Allows the user to have improved night vision for 60 seconds, kinda useful i guess.
Passive Effect: +15 Base Unarmed Damage
Cats have very sharp claws allowing the Khajiit to deal far more damage without even wielding a weapon.


Level 25 Skill: Heavy Armour
Orcs are heavy tanks that absorb a lot of damage & dish it out at the same time.
Level 20 Skills: Smithing, Block, Two Handed, One Handed, Enchanting
Orcs are built for war & it’s reflected in their stats.
Unique Ability: Berserker Rage
Just like Kratos, Orcs can call upon their pent up rage & anger to take half as much damage & deal double physical damage. This ability is extremely useful & can turn tides in battle.
Passive Effect: Are allowed to enter Orc mining camps and strongholds without first becoming Blood-kin.
An ability you will not notice until suddenly it’s useful as you get to skip a very boring fetch quest.


Level 25 Skill: Two Handed
Nords are hardy warriors that deal heavy amounts of damage with their greatswords, warhammers & battleaxes.
Level 20 Skills: Smithing, Block, One Handed, Light Armour, Speech
Warrior centred abilities Nords are great for DPS or tank builds.
Unique Ability: Battle Cry
Causing all nearby enemies to become frightened for 30 seconds, this can be a game changer if you’re in a losing battle & need time to recuperate.
Passive Effect: 50% Frost Resistance
Being in their frigid homeland the Nords have a natural resistance to the cold which is very useful for the multitude of enemies that utilise frost damage.


Level 25 Skill: One Handed
Being skilled swordsmen the Redguards are naturals with blades.
Level 20 Skills: Smithing, Block, Archery, Destruction (magic), Alteration (magic)
Being heavily geared towards DPS Redguards are extremely good at dealing a lot of damage.
Unique Ability: Adrenaline Rush
Being able to regenerate stamina 10x faster for 60 seconds can allow for rapid attacks to be thrown out with no thought to the stamina consumption allows Redguards to overpower extremely powerful enemies.
Passive Effect: 50% Poison Resistance
very cool.


Level 25 Skill: Restoration
Great for healing.
Level 20 Skills: Heavy Armour, Block, One Handed, Destruction, Enchanting
Warrior perks with a sprinkling of magic.
Unique Ability: Voice of the Emperor
Allowing you to calm anyone around you for 30 seconds, you can breeze right through loads of potential combat encounters if you prefer not to pursue them.
Passive Effect: Find more gold than usual
An ability that will go unnoticed until you realise you’ve amassed upwards of 20,000 gold and are presently surprised.


Level 25 Skill: Conjuration
Great for mage builds.
Level 20 Skills: Speech, Alchemy, Illusion, Restoration, Alteration
Unique Ability: Dragonskin
Allowing you to absorb 50% of all magicka from incoming spells for 60 seconds, you can dish out as much damage as you receive as you mana replenishes itself off of enemy attacks.
Starting Spell: Conjure Familiar
Starting with a spell that allows you to test your best skill early game.
Passive Effect: 25% Magic Resistance

Character Customisation

Being completely subjective & holding no stake in how your playthrough will go, there’s not much to say except don’t dwell on it for too long as for most of the game you will likely have a helmet on & not be seeing it.
That being said, mods are an excellent way to spend hours upon hours making detailed characters.
To find these mods just search ‘Skyrim Character Customisation Mods’ & you’ll find lists upon lists of great mods.

Written by Blixtt

Here we come to an end for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition Races & Character Customization in Skyrim hope you enjoy it. If you think we forget something to include or we should make an update to the post let us know via comment, and we will fix it asap! Thanks and have a great day!

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