IMHO: Getting the Most Out of Skyrim

Remember that classic “Skyrim” game from way back in the Fall of 2011?  It was quite a hit back in its day, and with so much to do in a massive game, it was difficult to orient the direction of the main hero.  Well, we here at GameTaffy pulled out our copies from their dust laden tombs for a replay and suggestions for our happy readers on how to get the most out of Skyrim.


Know Where You Want to Go

Diversity will be key on a second play-through of Skyrim; it would be boring to do the same thing twice.  Get out of a comfort zone and shoot for being a thief or dark mage this time around instead of a warrior.  It is a good idea to pick a new direction and focus the hero’s attributes based on that selection.  The best way to focus a hero in Skyrim is to decide on an end result and let that guide his direction.


Although a hero can achieve high levels, it doesn’t mean that his or her perks should be all over the place.  For example having a few okay perks at the lower levels of each tree, as opposed to picking a few areas and focusing their skills to the max.  If archery skills are desired, use the crap out of your bow, and focus each level-up to upgrade skills in the Archery skill tree.  It’s important to note, too, that a few skill trees as a focus are essential.

It is recommended to choose about 4 skill trees to focus, as the hero can reach level 50 without too much difficulty.  There are an average of about 10 perks per tree, so focusing on 4 trees allows for all of their perks to be unlocked.  It is not a bad idea to sacrifice one of the recommended 4 to scatter throughout the other beneficial perks.

skyrim skill tree

I used to be a perk like you, then I took an arrow to the knee.

Choose a Guild

In Skyrim, four guilds are available for players’ allegiance: the Companions, the Mages, the Thieves, and the Dark Brotherhood.  Each guild provides specific armor, weapons, magic, notoriety, and even perks to further focus a character’s power and abilities.  If this time ’round you focus on being a mage, join the mage guild and take every advantage they provide.  It isn’t a bad idea to join the dark brotherhood as well, as they provide armor, weapons, and perks that benefit mages as well.

The Thieves guild benefits the sneak and pickpocket perks, and the Companions benefit a hero’s armor and weapon perks.  As a companion, you also gain the ability to transform into a werewolf which has mixed benefits, giving the hero massive attack and defense, but wolf’s blood prevents the character from receiving sleep bonuses.  But therein lies the beauty of Skyrim: choice and consequence.  Other guilds offer the same choice-making turning points that change the game from that point on.  That said…

Don’t Hold Yourself Back

If there is an aspect of Skyrim that you haven’t tried because of any reservation, go for it!  The game is designed to be as free as possible to open up infinite gameplay possibilities.  Try making the game harder by upping the difficulty.  Restrict your heroes weapons and armor to a specific type; don’t worry about different strength qualities as they don’t make a huge difference anyway.  If you like shortswords, use them!  Don’t go to a warhammer just because it is stronger.


There are literally hundreds of locations to discover in Skyrim.  Try searching areas of the map that were unexplored in previous playthroughs.  You’ll find tons of secret quests, people, items, and monsters to enrich the experience.  And try it all without fast travelling.  Besides, the environment is beautiful enough to distract from the time it sometimes takes to get around anyway.  Using a horse helps cross the distances quicker, and the horse, let’s call him Mortimer, will help fight pesky trolls and dragons.

Use a Strategy Guide

Some may argue that using a strategy guide is cheap, but not this guy!  Using a strat-guide helps uncover elements of the game that are difficult to find.  IMHO, it’s worth it to help unlock all the achievements or trophies, finish pesky quests, or find the ultimate weapons and armor for your hero.  The guide will also do as its name suggests: guide players in a direction they hadn’t thought of or that is even suggested in this article.  Strategy guides aren’t for everyone, but for those who don’t care, it offers a more complete experience in gameplay.

The possibilities in this colossal game are endless because it was designed to be that way.  Make the most out of those $60 bones you spent on this classic; right now, there’s not much better out anyway.

Editor:  Kyle Rollins
“For a second journey through the land of Skyrim, it’s easy to feel like you’re playing it for the first time. If you played as a sword and shield warrior last time, try going for a mage, or a stealthy character, or maybe even a stealthy mage! Also, if you can, I highly recommend increasing the difficulty level. You may get a little more frustrated than in your previous journey, but beating up bosses on harder difficulties is extremely satisfying — and dragons aren’t pushovers.”
Editor: Alex Larrabee
“I’ve always promised myself that I would play an evil character at some point in the Elder Scrolls series. Well, really, in any game at all. My virtual moral fiber must be made of one of Clark Kent’s ribs, because I’ve yet to do so — the worst I get to is a senseless 60-second post-save killing rampage before bed. For those of us looking to add a few (hundred) hours to our already expansive Skyrim gameplay, though, I’d have to recommend that route.Start early. As soon as you’re free of the bonds of entry-level tutorial-bound turmoil, slaughter some helpless forest critters. Really grasp onto that unbridled sense of evil that your parents were afraid of when you were born with that jagged-edged tail they never told you about. Once you get to your first town, steal everything, then plant it all in one house. Then kill the owners for the irony.

Once you’ve sufficiently branded yourself as Lord Killchild, Emissary of Abortion, prepare for a journey to Skyrim Central Square, aka Whiterun. Once there, assume a cheerful demeanor as you stroll quaintly through the marketplace. Start up a conversation with the local delicatessen; inquire of his goods, and perhaps even make a purchase. Then ask him which meat he prefers to have rammed down his esophagus. If he hesitates, it’s clearly beef – therefore, you should douse him in the reddest of your potent spells. After sheepishly surrendering to the town guard, allow yourself to be taken to jail, where your army of rat minions awaits in the sewers below.

You know the rest.”

About Clint Kingsley

Clint is a gaming journalist for PSN ID: K-Train22

Posted on February 11, 2012, in IMHO and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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