Skyrim: How To Easily Power-Level Every Skill
It’s very easy to naturally level up most skills in Skyrim by simply playing through the game. However, there are some skills, such as those related to crafting, that most players want to max out before anything else, as they allow them to play exactly the way they want for the longest period of time.
For the most part, there is a way to power-level each skill in Skyrim fairly quickly, though some can be leveled much quicker than others and some can even reach max level before you have left Helgen’s cave system.
The best method for leveling the Pickpocket skill is to find a Pickpocket trainer, of which there are several. Some can even be found in Windhelm and Riften. Once the trainer is located, get them to teach you levels in the Pickpocket skill, then steal your money back from them.
This will only work until skills cost 1000 Septims or more per level, as you can’t pickpocket more than that from an NPC without immobilizing them with either Unrelenting Force, a reverse pickpocketed Paralysis Poison, or a Paralysis spell. However, you can easily level up the Pickpocket skill using other trainers as well, meaning it is a good skill to generally invest in.
Lockpicking is one of the more difficult skills to level easily, but there is one sure-fire way to do it. Complete the Thieves Guild questline until you obtain the Skeleton Key that was stolen by Mercer Frey, then simply don’t turn it in to become the leader of the Thieves Guild. This allows you to open every lock in the game without worrying about lockpicks breaking. This can also be used in tandem with the practice chests in the Thieves Guild, whose locks reset every few days.
Sneak is by far one of the easiest skills to power-level, as you can reach level 100 before leaving Helgen within around 30 minutes. There are several points in the escape from Helgen where this can be done, but the best place is at the end just before the bear, where Ralof or Hadvar will crouch down.
At this point, simply dual-wield daggers and perform a double backstab with both weapons at once. Neither Ralof nor Hadvar will become hostile to you unless you use the Fury spell that High Elves start with, so feel free to use them as punching bags with no repercussions.
The best way to power-level Archery is a little dangerous, but it can be made much easier with a very high Sneak skill. In High Hrothgar, summon a Bound Bow to ensure you have infinite arrows, then find a vantage point where you can shoot at one of the Greybeards without being seen.
For whatever reason, while the Greybeards are kneeling in prayer, they will need to take a lot of damage before they become hostile. That said, saving every time you gain a level is recommended to ensure you don’t get shouted from the peak of the mountain.
Alchemy, Smithing, & Enchanting
Alchemy, like Sneak, is a very easy skill to power-level, though it requires the use of the Restoration Potion glitch to perform properly. The best way is to simply increase your equipped Fortify Alchemy gear to the point that you are making potions with a 20000% increase and you should be close to reaching the max level with just one more potion.
This can also be used to increase the Enchanting and Smithing skills quickly by crafting Fortify Enchanting and Smithing Potions. It should be stated that this method is less viable with Enchanting than it is with Smithing. For Smithing, simply drink a potion before tempering gear at either a grindstone or workbench, as the potion will increase how much the item is enhanced. For Enchanting, drink a Fortify Enchanting potion before enchanting something with a high re-sell value enchantment, such as Fortify Destruction or Muffle.
Even though Speech isn’t that useful of a skill to invest in, unless you really want to roleplay as a merchant, it also isn’t all that easy to level up. In normal gameplay, you can level this skill by simply selling whatever junk you find lying around in dungeons or choosing the Persuade or Intimidate dialogue options, but there is no good shortcut to level the skill.
The best way to level Speech, then, is to find a Speech skill trainer, such as Ogmund in the Silver-Blood Inn in Markarth. Use them to level your Speech skill and then pickpocket the money back.
Like the Speech skill, the best way to level Light Armor is to find a corresponding trainer and steal back the money after gaining levels. The easiest of these trainers to find, Grelka, can be found in the Riften markets. As she is out in the open, a high Sneak skill may be needed to successfully pickpocket the money back.
If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can also find some Mudcrabs in the waters around Whiterun. Let them attack you, then heal up using a Restoration spell and level two skills at once. This method takes a very long time once you hit higher levels and is definitely a time-waster.
There are several ways to increase the Heavy Armor skill easily. The easiest method is to simply finish the Companions questline so you can take all of the skill trainers as followers, allowing any money you spent on skills to be taken back. If that does not sound appealing, you can also simply pickpocket a Heavy Armor trainer while also increasing your Pickpocket skill.
One-Handed & Two-Handed
Like the Sneak skill, the One-Handed and Two-Handed skills can be easily leveled up in the area just before the bear in Helgen by using Ralof or Hadvar as a punching bag. Without the use of Standing Stones, however, this can be very slow once you reach level 50 and may take upwards of an hour to level up one skill to 100.
Another similar way to increase these melee skills is to buy or steal a horse and then use that as a punching bag instead. They won’t turn hostile no matter how much damage they take and their health will regenerate after an hour.
Block can also be done in the same way as Sneak, One-Handed, and Two-Handed, though it suffers from the loss of Stamina, forcing the process to take much longer than even the weapon skills to level up.
However, there is an easier way that involves a horse and some soup. Find, steal, or buy a horse, then consume a Vegetable Soup and keep shield bashing while the effect of the food is active. The huge increase in Stamina regeneration means that you will always have enough to shield bash, even if it seems like you have none.
Destruction is easily one of the hardest Mage class skills to level up consistently, as you only gain experience by dealing damage to an enemy with a Destruction spell. For the most part, the best way to power-level this skill is to wield a Destruction spell in one hand and a Healing Hands Restoration spell in the other, buy a horse, and use both spells on the poor creature simultaneously. This is still quite slow, however, and the most efficient way is to pickpocket a Destruction skill trainer.
There are two great methods for leveling Alteration, which is useful considering how slowly the skill levels under normal circumstances. By casting the Water Breathing spell while standing in water, the game will recognize this as a correct use of the Alteration skill and give you experience.
The Telekinesis spell also functions the same way and is about the only real use for that spell. However, it is far less Magicka efficient and can result in accidentally losing items if you are not careful.
Conjuration is one of the easiest skills to power-level since it doesn’t require you to actually summon anything to gain experience. By far the best way to level Conjuration is to cast Soul Trap on a corpse or horse repeatedly, as this somehow registers as proper use of the spell and, consequently, experience points are rewarded. This can allow you to reach level 100 very fast.
Like Conjuration, the Illusion skill is very straightforward to level up and can be done very early in the game. To power-level, simply find either an NPC or horse, learn the Calm or Courage spell, and cast it repeatedly on the target. Be wary of which spell you are using, however, as using Courage in the overworld can cause the NPC or horse to attack any hostile enemies by accident.
Restoration, alongside Destruction, is one of the hardest skills to level up in the game, which is a shame considering how many good perks this tree has. Aside from using Healing Hands alongside a Destruction spell or pickpocketing a skill trainer, you can also heal yourself while using the Equilibrium spell from the Alteration skill tree.
This spell, which converts Health into Magicka, allows you to near infinitely heal yourself. However, it comes with the downside that healing spells will eventually heal more than Equilibrium will drain, so you will need to alternate between the two spells.
Next: Skyrim: The 5 Best (& 5 Worst) Races to Play as a Mage
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Callum Archer is a freelance writer based in Perth, Western Australia. He is an avid gamer, Nintendo fanboy, and lover of weird sci-fi novels, who also dabbles in manga from time to time, usually dark and twisted work like Uzumaki and Death Note.
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