ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Races In Skyrim The Elder Scrolls V: With A Chart

Updated on April 21, 2020

Picking Your Race In Skyrim

There are ten different playable races in Skyrim: The Elder Scrolls V. All of these Skyrim races have appeared in the past Elder Scrolls games in the other regions of Tamriel. When it comes to the appearance and history of the Skyrim races, they can be divided in three cathegories: human, mer (elven) and beast. The game offers a great variety of racial looks, from very pale till very dark skin color, the head shapes of, for example, Orcs, Imperials and Khajiiti (cat people) are very different. Each race is also slightly different in height. Altmeri (high elves) are the tallest which makes them the fastest runners in the game. Each Skyrim race also has their own unique abilities as well as enhanced skills. Each Skyrim race gets a +10 bonus to one skill and +5 bonus to five other skills. Although it's always nice to have a racial bonus that helps your play style, don't let the racial differences intimidate you. All skills can be improved while actually playing.

Skyrim races

Races In Skyrim. Click to see full size
Races In Skyrim. Click to see full size

Skyrim Races, Abilities And Stats

Each Skyrim race has unique powers which are either passive or can be activated once per day. Some racial skills are just weaker versions of skills which are acquired later.

All races begin with two spells: Flames (sets the target on fire, doing some damage over time) and Healing (heals the caster over time). The Breton race in Skyrim start out with additional spells: Conjure Familiar (summons a creature for 60 seconds), Dunmer race also start with Sparks (lightning damage over time that damages both health and stamina) and Altmeri can cause Fury (creatures till level 6 attack any nearby target).

Starting Stats

This chart shows the starting bonuses for each race. The base value for each skill is 15, so the race with +10 to Archery starts with the Archery rating of 25.
This chart shows the starting bonuses for each race. The base value for each skill is 15, so the race with +10 to Archery starts with the Archery rating of 25.

The Altmer also known as High Elves are tall and gold skinned. They are the most gifted in arcane arts from all the Skyrim races.
Racial Abilities:
High Elves are born with 50 extra magicka.
Highborn : Regenerate magicka faster for 60 seconds.

Argonians also known as Saxhleel (people of the root) are scaly reptilian humanoids. They are swift swimmers and can breathe underwater. They worship Hist, a sacred tree whose sap they use to communicate with the tree and gain its powers.
Racial Abilities:
Argonians are 50% resistant to disease.
Water Breathing
Histskin : Invoke the power of the Hist to recover health ten times faster for 60 seconds.

The Bosmer or Wood Elves unlike other elves prefer simplicity in life. They are quick and agile which makes them excellent archers, thieves and masters of disguise.
Racial Abilities:
Bosmers are 50% resistant to poison and diseases.
Command Animal : Make an animal an ally for 60 seconds.

The Bretons are pale skinned, slim built and not as muscular as other human races. Because of the Elvish blood in their ancestry they make great sorcerers and their magical resistances make them great soldiers.
Racial Abilities:
Dragonskin : Absorb 50% of magicka from hostile spells for 60 seconds.
Bretons are 25% resistant to all magic.

Dunmer or Dark Elves possess a unique combination of cunning intellects and agile physiques. These qualities make them powerful and versatile warriors. These proud and even cruel people are really masters of all trades.
Racial Abilities:
Dunmers are 50% resistant to fire.
Ancestor’s Wrath : For 60 seconds, opponents that get too close take 8 points per second of fire damage.

Imperials are well educated people. Their lawful nature makes them excellent diplomats and traders. They are skilled both in combat and magic.
Racial Abilities:
Voice of the Emperor : Calms nearby people for 60 seconds.
Imperials are lucky and always find more gold.

The Khajiit are the feline beast race in Skyrim. They make awesome thieves and assassins due to their impressive sneaking and acrobatic skills. They are very intelligent and agile.
Racial Abilities:
Night Eye : Improved night vision for 60 seconds.
Khajiit claws do 15 points of damage.

Nords are the native race in Skyrim. Frost doesn't seem to harm these people much and their martial abilities are superb. They are naturally tall and strong.
Racial Abilities:
Battle Cry : Target flees for 30 seconds.
Nords are 50% resistant to frost.

Orsimer also known as Orcs are the most notorius barbarians. Their unshakable courage, enthusiasm and rage make them feared warriors.
Racial Ability:
Berserker Rage : Orsimer take half damage and do double damage for 60 seconds.

The dark-skinned, wiry-haired Redguards are natural born proud fighters. They are quick, strong and agile.
Racial Abilites:
Redguards are 50% resistant to poison.
Adrenaline Rush : Stamina regenerates 10x faster for 60 seconds.

Skyrim: Which Race Should I Choose

I hope this brief summary of Skyrim races was useful for you when choosing which race should your play when emerging in the world of Skyrim. I myself am playing an Imperial warrior who is specialized in Heavy Armor, Two Handed Weapons and Speech. At first I found her quite cute but now she's dressed all in Dwarven armor which makes my character look like a guy. Haha, this motivates me to improve my smithing skills too. Thank god, the merchants of the opposite sex in Skyrim recognize her and give her nice discounts. Would you like to tell in comment section what kind of character do you have in Skyrim? ;)


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Argonian. Light armor, one handed (with dual wield and hack and slash perks), speech, smithing and enchanting are her highest skills.

    • profile image

      Raleigh Lynn 

      6 years ago

      I have an Orc a nord and a dark elf and trained them all in one handed and heavy armor but I believe the Orc is the best because his berserker rage comes in handy while in tight spots

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I had two characters: Argonian and an Imperial and I equipped them both with heavy armor and weapons :D I stopped playing dunno why and now i'll download it again :P

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I have a nord that specialises in magic, one handed and block I am trying to improve my speech as well

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I have a bosmer he is a archery specialist and two handed boss with heavy iron armour and a bow of ice with orc arrows and a dwarven warhammer called WARVEN with fire ability and I have the chest plate have that will fortify heath it has +20 heath and adds a +50 heath regen.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I have finished Morrowind with a Nord, Oblivion with an Orc so now it's time for some difference in gameplay and i've chosen Bosmer sneaker. It's a pity that there are no spears in Skyrim. That would be much fun to give my little fellow some advantage from long weapon.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I've got three races, i have a nord one, a dark elf, and an orc, but with the elf i'm dark brotherhood and thieves guild as well as companions!! But I enjoy the orc the most, for I love such inhuman characters in games like this!! Skyrim ROCKS!!!:)

    • profile image

      breezar khajiit 

      8 years ago

      i am khajiit

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I'm an altmer and a mage :)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I'm a high elf but i should have been a redguard, smithing and archery up

    • Eranofu profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Europe

      Good recommendations. I agree with you. Thanks for commenting and have fun with your Imperial or Orc. :)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I was an argonian, the waterbreathing helps if you're trying to escape, but I switched to dark elf, which I hate. I think I'll switch to imperial or Orc, mainly because I only use 2 handed weapons unless I'm using a magic rune. I use heavy armor but it slows me down too recommendations are If you want to be a thief go with argonian or khajit, a Mage are elves, I'd say high for people who want to go the whole 9 yards with it, and warriors are the rest


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)