Elder Scrolls V Skyrim Character Builds Guide

By   /   Nov 11, 2011

There aren’t many builds you can create in Elder Scrolls V Skyrim. What makes them unique is, the perk selection that will be entirely depended on the personal preferences. On top of that, you can learn crafting and enhance your armor to make your character more formidable against enemies.

Following are the recommended character builds you can play with in Elder Scrolls V Skyrim. As I have already stressed in our Skills and Perks Guide, your character progression will depend on your choice of skills and perks you level up.

Note. I won’t go down into detail why certain races are good with certain character builds. If you are interested in reading that, read our Race Guide.

For more help, read our Walkthrough, Skills and Perk Tree, and Crashes Troubleshooting Guide.

Elder Scrolls V Skyrim Character Builds

Other Character Builds

Note. Don’t forget to read our Archetypes Guide for more help on the subject.

One-Handed Warrior

Imperial, Nords, and Redguards are suitable races to become good one-handed warriors. Your heavy armor in this character build is your greatest ally and will help you fight even the toughest of enemies in Skyrim.

You may move slow and have difficulty fighting at the start, but you will soon become an effective one-handed warrior when you level up the perks above.

Learn the restoration magic or have some healing items for emergencies since you will most probably be fighting up close and personal, which leaves you vulnerable all the time.

You can’t sneak with heavy armor though, it will make noise. So, if you are planning to sneak, wearing light armor will help. It will also help you get through the dungeons, just keep it slow and you can easily find a way through your enemies to the place where you want them to be.

Don’t even thing of going head-on with Light Armor, you may be skilled enough to do that, but it won’t be an effective strategy in the long run. You are vulnerable in close combat and since you have less protection with light armor, it’s not a good idea to go head-on.

If you don’t want to go offense, level up Restoration and stick to healing and protection spells to make your way through any situation. Level up all the defenses perks in Restoration but don’t bother about the offense.

You already have a powerful one-handed weapon in your hand so you are better off without these offensive spells. They aren’t effective either.

Skills To Level Up
You should level up Block, One-Handed, Smithing, Heavy Armor, Restoration, Light Armor and Sneak to enhance your combat effectiveness as a one-handed warrior.

Perks To Level Up
You are limited to 70 perks at one time, that means you can’t level up all the perks in the skills specified above. If you want to enhance your combat effectiveness as a one-handed warrior, choose these perks to level up.

Shield Wall, Deflect Arrows and Elemental Protection

Armsman, Fighting Stance, Savage Strike, Critical Charge.

Arcane Blacksmith – Level up either top or bottom part of the perk tree subjected to whatever armor you wear.

Heavy Armor
Juggernaut, Well Fitted, Tower of Strength, Matching Set, Reflect Blows.

Novice Restoration, Regeneration, Respite, Recovery, Avoid Death

Light Armor
Level up all perks to increase your defense to make up for the light armor.

Stealth, Muffled Movement, Light Food, Silent Roll, Silence, Backstab

Two-Handed Warrior

Nords and Orcs can become good Two-Handed Warriors. Two-Handed Warriors need to be good in offense and mobile. This is why, you need to level up Heavy Armor perk tree fully.

Remember, for offense you need fast mobility and by leveling up all the perks under Heavy Armor, your movement will improve and you will fight more effectively wearing heavy armor.

Since you don’t have any shield equipped, it would be a good idea to level up Restoration skill, so you can heal yourself when needed. Two-Handed character build is really effective offensive build but it becomes so, only when you have level up these perks.

Skills To Level Up
Heavy Armor, Restoration, Smithing, Two Handed

Perks To Level Up

Heavy Armor
Level up all perks under Heavy Armor Skill.

Novice Restoration, Regeneration, Respite, Recovery, Avoid Death

Arcane Blacksmith – You can level up either top or bottom part of the perk tree subjected to whatever armor you use.

Two Handed
Level up all the perks on the right path. Once you have leveled them up, level up the perks that compliment your weapon.


If you want to become Stealthy little thief (not little ofcourse), choose among Argonian, Khajiit, and Wood Elf races. Thieves aren’t meant to fight, they are meant to steal and vanish. That’s why it’s important that you level up Archery to combat opponents at range and use Illusion to keep yourself hidden around enemies.

There ability to stay undetected around enemies, allow Thieves to quickly retrieve any valuable item and leave the area swarming with enemies without bothering to fight.

Train one-handed weapon just for quick kills by sneaking up on enemies, but don’t level up any of its perks. You can make this stealth kill more deadly by enchanting your short-blade and then using it for this purpose.

If you don’t want to move close to the enemy, just poison your arrows and take a head-shot. Skyrim supports one-shot kills so it shouldn’t be difficult for you to snipe any enemy at range.

Skills To Level Up
Archery, Illusion, Light Armor, Lockpicking, Pickpocket, Sneak

Perks To Level Up

Level up all the perks in this perk tree.

Illusion, Kindred mage, Hypnotic Gaze, Aspect of Terror, Rage, Quiet Casting

Light Armor
Level up this perk tree fully.

Golden Touch, Treasure Hunter, Locksmith

Light Fingers, Poisoned, Extra Pockets

Stealth, Muffled Movement, Backstab, Deadly Aim, Assassins Blade and Silence.

Go to next page to read about Assassin, Mage, Battle Mage and Dual Wield character builds.

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