Many Skyrim players get bored of their characters after 20 or 30 levels. Here are some character builds that stay fresh for a long play-through.
Boring Skyrim Characters – Crafting
Over-powered and “grindy” characters quickly become boring. If you plan to use crafting (enchanting, smithing, and alchemy), try to use higher difficulties and try not to use all three. It gets old having to run from station to station, making money with alchemy and then leveling your crafting and enchanting accordingly. It’s boring to constantly make runs to grab alchemy ingredients too. It’s just lame.
Then, when you have super high crafting stats, now what? You are now overpowered and have no more grinding to do. You have 10,000 healing potions.
Is that fun or challenging?
Another character build mistake is to enchant your way down to zero cost magic or insane damage per second (with increased one-hand or two-hand on several items). OK, so you can spam spells and melee damage. How is this fun?
Instead, consider switching to master difficulty if you plan to craft and to not include alchemy. Limit your enchanting to two spell cost reductions per school.
A play-through with zero crafting is also quite rewarding. It makes perks much more (relatively) powerful and necessary. It also makes finding loot actually mean something. If you favor and tend to enjoy a certain build, try it all the way though without crafting at all.
Boring Skyrim Characters – overpowered sneak archers
I’m not saying “do not play an archer” or “do not play a stealth build”, what I’m saying is that the following gets old:
- Sneak up on opponent
- Hit them with an arrow
- Back up a bit and wait to be totally hidden again
- Repeat until the enemy is dead
- Repeat until you can one-shot everyone
This might be an unpopular statement, but “how is this fun”? This is just like work to me. It’s super repetitive and there is no ENGAGEMENT.
To not get bored, instead, pick sneak and archer builds that have some sort of engagement element to them.
I know this is an unpopular opinion because so many players love stealth archers. Feel free to flame me in the comments if you disagree.
Boring Skyrim Characters – too many spell schools
Does this sound familiar…
- Cast and alteration spell and let your magica build back up – but don’t wait too long because your alteration spell will expire
- Switch to Conjuration
- Summon something and let your magica build back up again
- Switch to destruction and engage the enemy
- Leave enough magica to summon a weapon or switch to a physical weapon
- Switch to a healing spell, and then back to alteration to do it again.
That’s such a grind, and it doesn’t even include illusion. Even with hot keys you have to sit and wait before every battle. Without hot keys you are constantly pausing to select spells. That is just boring and not fun.
Instead, limit your magic to a couple of schools. Pick a combat flow that is more immersive.
Non-Boring Skyrim Character Build 1 – The Tank Mage
Stone: The Lord (anything except Atronoch – it’s overpowered)
Level health and magic: 1/1/0
None! Do not enchant or use smithing!
The tank mage LIKES to get hit. It only makes her stronger. Heavy armor goes up and restoration becomes more powerful. Wearing robes is more powerful in the beginning, but the tank mage must develop her skills over time, grasshopper.
Go into battle by engaging your enemies toe to toe. You only have to dodge blows from the occasional over-powered boss and perhaps wolves/skeevers (to avoid disease).
Other than that, you WANT to get hit and for your health bar to go down. Use destruction in the right and healing in the left. Blast your enemy with the appropriate forms of destruction magic and blast yourself with healing spells.
You can also use two-handed destruction and impact against big bosses, when needed.
You can try ward spells when fighting mages, but I prefer just to keep healing myself.
The engaging nature of this build and the slow but steady strengthening is what keeps it from getting boring. There is hardly any hot-key or immersion breaking menu-pauses to select different spells while in battle.
Its’s also super fun to specialize in only these three skills.
You will become a master of destruction, restoration, and heavy armor.
Skyrim Character Build 2 – The “Validator”
Stone: Lord (anything except Atronoch)
Level health and magic: 1/2/0
The Validator bashes opponents with a mace, and relies on healing magic instead of a shield. This “validates” restoration as a perfectly viable school of magic, as around level ten or so, you will see how your opponents will have a VERY hard time killing you when you can keep healing yourself.
Play with a mace in the right hand and a spell in the other. Keep a healing spell of some sort in the left hand and power bash the crap out of your opponents with your mace.
It’s super satisfying to stand there awaiting their approach with your trusty (enchanted) mace, and a very strong arm to swing it, all while not worried about getting hit. You will quickly level your light armor AND your restoration this way. The Validator wears light armor but she is good with it (though perks and crafting) and can take a reasonable amount of shots.
If you face a boss that can kill you with a few hit then use your lightly-armored swiftness to avoid his/her blows, as needed. Step around the corner or back a few years just for a split second and heal yourself, then get right back into the melee action.
This play style should not get boring as it is extremely engaging, and your attacks will feel very powerful. Your health bar will go down when you get hit at the master difficulty but your powerful healing skills will quickly bring it right back. Plus you will be able to get right in there and power attack with your mace again because your healing spells will also regenerate stamina.
Avoid enchanting more than 2 restoration reducing improvements. Zero-cost anything breaks the game. Same goes for 1 handed enchantments – no more than two. Instead, the Validator concentrates on magica regeneration higher magica, and health. Of course this is not “optimal”, but it works great with the character type.
Plan your build with the Skyrim Build Calculator.
Skyrim Non-Boring Character Build 3 – The “Brick”
The brick character pretty much just stands there and wails on her opponents utilizing extremely damaging techniques.
Stone: Lord (anything except Atronoch)
Level health and magic: 1/1/0
The Brick character blasts two-handed destruction spells at their foes without worrying about running out of magic or kiting backwards to avoid getting squished.
The Brick is not scared of anything, actually.
Once the high-powered two-handed magic depletes the magica bar, she switches to a two-handed axe, with which she is insanely powerful.
With crafted heavy armor and already weakened enemies charging into giant axe power attacks, the Brick isn’t worried about defense either.
Many players think that the fireball spell is not available in the beginning and mid-levels. For the Brick, this is no problem. Remember how in Bauder’s Gate II the “Skulltrap” spell was better than the fireball spell (did I just date myself)? Well, since the Brick does not need magica in her bar, the “Rune” spell can be used generously and with no “waiting” after it is cast.
Picture her standing there, with a powerful rune between her and the enemy. On top of that, she just blasted a two handed fireball at the group and now she stand confident and ready with her crafted 2-handed axe and her heavy armor.
Good luck to them.
Keep your 2-handed and destruction enchantments to a maximum of 2 each. The Brick spends the rest of her enchanting efforts on health and resistance.
More non-boring Skyrim builds to come soon.