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The Best Stealth Build in Skyrim

Updated on May 4, 2013
Strike at your prey from the shadows.
Strike at your prey from the shadows. | Source

There are a lot of approaches to problem solving in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. You can smash your opponents apart with swords and axes, fry them with arcane magic, or knock them right off cliffs with the power of your Shout. But, for those that wish for a more subtle approach to besting your enemies, you can follow the path of the ninja.


Any race can be a stealth fighter, but not every race is well-suited to the role. During character creation, you should pick a Wood Elf, Argonian or Khajiit. All of these races are well-suited to the ninja role. Wood Elves are particularly good at archery; Argonians are particularly good at lockpicking and can breathe underwater; Khajiit are particularly stealthy.


To strike at your enemies from the shadows, you'll need to improve the following skills:

Stealth: Stealth is perhaps the most important skill you'll need. By crouching, sticking to the shadows and moving slowly, you can stay hidden from your enemies. Also, if you strike at your enemy while hidden, you will receive an attack bonus multiplier.

Archery or One-handed: You'll want to learn one of these weapon styles. Archery has the obvious benefit of distance; one-handed weapons are quick and, with the right perks, you can rack up a very high damage modifier while hidden.

Lockpicking and Pickpocketing: Both of these skills can get you money and, just as importantly, can help you complete quests. By pickpocketing keys and other quest items, and by picking locks on doors and safes, you can complete quests without direct confrontation.

Alchemy: The Alchemy skill lets you create poisons. By coating your sword's blade or the tip of your arrow in different poisons, you can drain health, magicka or stamina from your targets, either all at once or through slow-acting poisons.

Light Armor: You'll need armor if you want to stay alive in the dangerous land of Skyrim. However, you don't need heavy, clunky armor weighing you down. The Light Armor skill allows you to use light armor more efficiently. As a stealth character, you should stick to using light armor exclusively.


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      purplelightning7 5 years ago

      i think the best way to go is use daggers, then get the invisibility spell for illusion and cast that evrytime you hit someone so they never know where you are. its funny being right next to someone and listening to them say "i could of swore i heard something" and then they walk away. also you obviosly want light armor unless you have the muffling perks or armor with muffle enchantments. to me though pickpocket doesn't matter too much unless you want to be in thetheives guild, but then you still only need minimal training in that skill.

    • profile image

      Madara 5 years ago

      Go conjured weapons, illusion, heavy armor, sneak, and onehanded or bow. Then obviously work smithing and enchant on every combat toon. Really fun class

    • JohnGreasyGamer profile image

      John Roberts 5 years ago from South Yorkshire, England

      I have to say Dragonborn, I was for three weeks. But after that, it really got on my nerves. I realized how generic the questing was, the environments made me yawn, but I'm surprised I still hadn't completed the game. It's a wonderful piece, and I recommend it despite it's flaws.

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      Dragonborn 5 years ago

      Anyone here addicted to skyrim? I know I am!

    • xXRaelliaXx profile image

      xXRaelliaXx 6 years ago from Haskell, Arkansas

      >.< I wish I had the means to play this game. I really do. I watch my husband's lets plays of it, and I get so jealous, lol.

    • JohnGreasyGamer profile image

      John Roberts 6 years ago from South Yorkshire, England

      While this is a good Hub, I think anyone can be a stealth class with any matchup. All they need is Thieves' Guild armor (or Nightengale), upgrade it and put points in the critical hit mastery and less chance of being sighted in the Stealth category.

      Stealth killing is not about style, but about killing someone fast enough without anyone raising an alarm. I'd also mention something about moving bodies to prevent detection. As for Alchemy being a skill, this is totally optional as poisons can do very little when you have boosted crit damage and chance.

      Finally, I've a lv.40 Nord who's done all questlines and can still play the thief and backstabber. I think this Hub is for those who want to limit their character to a certain thing, rather than the players who want to farm achievements/trophies and play other aspects of the game.

      Great work though! I've voted you up and you've got another follower! ^_^