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Skyrim - A Money-making Guide

Updated on February 10, 2013

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has been out for a while now and if you haven’t got your hands on it yet then you must have been living under a rock! Skyrim is an unbelievable game and at times is scarily enthralling. The game is set in a medieval fantasy setting whereby the gamer starts out as a prisoner for unexplained reasons, just like in the last Elder Scrolls (Oblivion). The player begins by making a character before being thrust into a seemingly endless world full of zombies, dragons, bears, wolves, vampires all rearing to rip your head off!

A typical city in Skyrim
A typical city in Skyrim
A real-gameplay screenshot
A real-gameplay screenshot
In Skyrim, you can make your character look exactly how you want as well as choosing one of 10 different races
In Skyrim, you can make your character look exactly how you want as well as choosing one of 10 different races

Skyrim isn’t a game of formality and rule-following. If you were too boring to venture into the wild in the search of great treasure but with the risk of being attacked then so be it. It’s totally up to you, the player, as to how you dictate your created character and what they achieve, how they behave and who they are.

Bethesda, the game’s creators, love the idea that Skyrimers can play the game in any way they wish, whether that means you roam the cities and towns as a merchant buying and selling to make a living, or if you are more adventurous and search the vast open wild, crossing numerous biomes and exploring countless caves in the search of treasure! Most players, including myself find themselves somewhere in the middle. But making money in Skyrim is one of the most important aspects of the game and in this article I will let you in on the best ways of making money in the game (without cheating obviously!), and without ruining the game for you and leaving you with nothing left to do.


Plundering in Skyrim is a great way to make money while improving your combat skills. There are countless dungeons, mines caves and castles that hold a lot of goodies that you can sell elsewhere and coins are often abundant. Plundering is the most common method of making money in Skyrim because the player gets to fight and explore which is very fun and satisfying. However, plundering is one of the slowest ways of making money and requires the most effort but if you make the effort to explore everywhere then great treasure awaits!


Thieving is a fantastic way of making money if you don't mind having an immoral character! Thieving is a personal favourite of mine and has the potential to grant the player incredible wealth. Thieving is also one of the most enjoyable ways to make money. The key to being a successful thief is decision making. If you want to stay unnoticed and not with a heavy bounty on your head then you must decide whether the risk is too great. There are a couple of methods of thieving. There is burglary - breaking into a house and stealing all the valuable items, or pickpocketing - sneaking up to promising marks and stealing what you can without being noticed. In order to be a successful thief you have to think about where the money is. Wealthy cities, Jarl's palaces, successful shops and rich civilians tend to hold very valuable items, but I'll leave it up to you to decide where you wish to thieve!


Alchemy is one of the less well-known methods of making money but it is an easy and therapeutic method of racking in serious septims. The player can buy ingredients from the many alchemy shops around the world as well as collecting ingredients from the environment if they want to in order to create potions which he can then sell back to the alchemy shops. As the player's alchemy skill increases their potions become more powerful and more varied which means their value increases meaning more money in your pocket! Potions are quite expensive in the game, in other words, merchants value them highly despite them being easy to create, thus alchemy is a good business to move into.


Being a harassing highwayman or an outright murderer are possible options to make money in Skyrim. There are many wandering civilians out on the roads or even roaming the wild including some noblemen who carry a lot of wealth. If terrorising lone wanderers sounds appealing to you then it may be a way you can make some money while having a lot of fun while you're at it!


Despite all the cold methods of making a living mentioned so far there are actually plenty of ways to make money honestly! Whether this is visiting various pubs and getting contracts from the innkeeper to kill bandit leaders or giants, or if it just means helping out the locals, you can be sure to make a little on the side while exploring the world and getting to grips with the game.

Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed the article, please follow and read my other hubs. Peace!


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