Fun Things To Do In Skyrim

I've played so much Skyrim my girlfriend is jealous of Lydia.

I’ve played more than 60 hours of TES V: Skyrim since it came out, and I haven’t seen half the content in the game yet. Skyrim hosts a level of detail unheard of in most games and furthers Bethesda’s open-world paradigm while at the same time simplifying game mechanics and the user interface. In my time in Skyrim, I’ve had a lot of fun, but there are some things that stand out in my experiences so far. I’m going to briefly walkthrough a few of the best things I’ve done in Skyrim, so you don’t miss your chance to do them too.

Spoiler Warning: This article has some spoilers. The spoilers ahead do not concern the main quest, they only concern side quests.

The first fun thing I’m going to mention is the main quest. This may seem out of place, but many players don’t ever get to the main quest in these games. I played 100+ hours of TES IV: Oblivion but never touched the main quest until a month ago in anticipation of Skyrim. Oblivion’s main quest felt like a chore, but that doesn’t carry over to Skyrim. Skryim’s main quest is worth every minute you put into completing it. It’s well paced and never feels laborious. I’ll go so far as to say that this is the best plot Bethesda has constructed recently, including TES III: Morrowind, TES IV: Oblivion, Fallout 3 and New Vegas (they’ve learned a lot through making those games). By doing the main quest line, you’ll get useful gear and powers that can make the rest of the game more fun to play!

Take the time and read the books. Reading in a game may go against all of your instincts as a gamer because most of the games we play either have very little writing in them, or it’s useless and doesn’t add meaningful context. This is where Skyrim is different. I’m not going to espouse that every single book or letter in the game contributes in a meaningful way, but most do. It’s worth the time you spend reading them because the books will flesh out the fiction of Skyrim and will enhance the world. So get in that Mages College and bone up on your Elder Scrolls history. There’s a decent website that has most of the books in the game: SkyrimBooks (works on your smart phone too!).

If you decide to get into smithing, making silver and gold jewelry is a great way to advance your smithing skill and make some fast cash. To make this easy you should stock up on silver ingots, gold ingots and precious stones. Gold will be the hardest to find, but there is a spell in the school of Alteration that will transmute iron ore into silver ore or silver ore into gold ore. Making the jewelry is easy at any forge, but you can only sell jewelry to general stores and apparel stores; the blacksmiths won’t buy jewelry. Jewels are commonly found when looting dead foes or chests, and forging them into jewelry is a great way to increase their usefulness and boost your income.

One of my favorite guilds so far is the Companions. If you do enough of their quests, you have the option to join their inner circle and become a werewolf. Being a werewolf is right up there with being dragon born.  As a werewolf, you get a power called Beast Form which allows you to transform into a werewolf once a day for two and a half minutes. Beast Form grants you somewhere around twice your stamina and health, more attack power, no bounty for actions while in beast form, faster sprinting than horses and an awesome looking character model.

Beast form comes with some weaknesses though. You can only transform once daily, silver weapons do twice the damage to you while in beast form and a little more damage while not transformed, you cannot access player menus and you cannot achieve the well-rested bonus. The pros vastly outweigh the cons, especially when you’re able to transform at the beginning of a dungeon and sprint from foe to foe tearing heads off and tossing bodies to and fro. To extend your beast form past the two and a half minutes, you can eat your human victims to add thirty more seconds to your form.

The next fun thing is making friends with Daedric Princes to perpetrate some murder and mayhem. These side quests can be hilarious and fun as the Daedra ask you to do terrible things to other people in their names. Usually there is a reward at the end of the quest, but it’s not always as useful as it might be. Don’t worry, the hilarity of the quest itself is more than enough payment. Molag Bal, Boethiah and Seogorath (yes, he’s back!) are my favorites. I suggest doing these in between longer quests to mix things up and laugh a little.

 

Silent Cat says: Your experience in-game is worth communicating to other players. So update a wiki!

 

After all of the questing and labor you’ve put into our character, you’ll have a good deal of money and probably buy a house or two. I’ve found it interesting to decorate the houses to achieve a more personalized look. Usually I pick one house I’m going to use most of the time, and it tends to be the most expansive one (in Skyrim that would be the Solitude house, Proudspire Manor). I’ll then store all of my various objects in the chests and cupboards. You can purchase enhancements to the houses from the same steward you bought the house from.

After purchasing the enhancements -which can include more storage space and an alchemic or enchantment laboratory- you can place weapons in the racks and glass cases to show off important trophies from quests you’ve completed. Don’t feel limited to the built in racks. You can certainly display armor, weapons and other objects around your house on tables, leaning against the walls or on chairs to keep a visual reminder of your accomplishments (on the Xbox 360 hover on the object and hold down A for a few seconds to move it around, on the PC hold down E). This isn’t for everyone as it can be labor intensive. It’s relatively easy to just fill out the weapon racks and cases, and it’ll give your pad a personalized look.

Skyrim’s sales numbers are huge and the player base is growing quickly. One of the cool perks of this is the pioneering feel of the game community. We’re all experiencing the game and its features for the first time together and we can help each other out with tips and tricks. Ever search on the internet for details on a quest or item in Skyrim? With a game this complex it’s hard not to rely on a wiki at some point. The wikis and databases on Skyrim are bare this early in the game’s life. They’re just waiting to be filled with knowledge and suggestions that are earned through dedicated playing.

Get out there and write some content for a wiki or game database. Even if it’s just a blip on a particularly difficult foe, information on leveling a skill or a bug, I’m sure that someone will find it helpful. This is a great way to give back to the Elder Scrolls community; a massive community with wikis and info as far as google goggles can see. Make yourself feel good by creating something visual for the world to see based on your playing.

Bonus: This one perk has brought me so much enjoyment I have to include it. The perk is called Savage Strike, and it grants a 25% bonus to standing power attacks with the chance to decapitate your foe. Absolutely essential if you’re a melee character. Get it now!

 

It's like "got your nose" except I get a little bit more...

 

I hope you find some enjoyment from one of these great things to do in Skyrim. Remember, if you ever need to get anywhere in Skryim quickly, fly Giant Airlines!

 

Ugh. I shouldn't have eaten the in flight meal.

About Sam Byers

Sam Byers graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2009, where he studied history. He currently lives and works in downtown Richmond. He prefers writing in lieu of call centers, restaurant kitchens and carpet cleaning.