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Skyrim Character Builds For Players Who Have Done Everything

Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is one of the most well-known, fantasy open-world games in the industry and has seen many spikes in popularity and interest throughout the years. However, Skyrim has been out for almost ten years, and no game can keep players fully occupied for almost a decade without becoming slightly repetitive. There are many character builds that have been mastered and regularly exploit the game's combat mechanics, but players looking for experiences beyond the obvious choices should turn their attention to some of the unique builds below.

It can be nerve-wracking to veer from a comfort zone, even a virtual one, but for players who have completed everything in Skyrim, changing playstyles and character builds can revive excitement and enjoyment for any game, no matter its age. By implementing unique challenge parameters into playthroughs, or dedicating skill points to previously unused abilities, players can construct new character builds that offer an additional level of difficulty. While these builds won't lead master Dragonborns to a world record speedrun, these playthroughs can become some of the most memorable Skyrim experiences players have had since its release.

Related: Skyrim's Best Character Builds Explained

As a role-playing game, Skyrim allows players to build nearly every aspect of their character from the outset. However, players willing to go the extra mile can add additional challenge parameters to their characters to increase the game's difficulty. For example, playing a character with dietary restrictions can limit the game's eating mechanics to strictly vegetarian or carnivorous eating habits. This will severely limit healing items and make combat exponentially more difficult. Dragonborns seeking to adopt a vegetarian or vegan diet into their playthroughs will need to avoid killing animals, eating meat, and using meat or flesh-based crafting materials in alchemy. Vegan or vegetarian playthroughs would be more suited to the Wood Elf, who has a deeper connection to the wilderness.

Skyrim's many vendors and quests offer hundreds of weapons and armor pieces to purchase or earn as rewards throughout the game. With so many options, it can be difficult to choose which will be the most appropriate for any given situation. A Skyrim playthrough that prohibits any non-forged weapon or armor makes things exponentially more difficult. Known as the Blacksmith Build, players are forbidden from using weapons or armor that weren't created by their own hand. This build introduces new challenges from the outset, as players are forbidden from looting armor and weapons as they escape Helgen. The Dragonborn is also forbidden from using Daedric weapons or gifted weapons from completing quests. The Blacksmith playstyle and character build will completely change the way Skyrim is experienced, even for players who claim to have seen everything.

Those interested in pursuing a Blacksmith playstyle will need to invest in Skyrim's Smithing and Enchanting skill trees quite early on. The earlier these skills can be improved, the better off players will be. The blacksmith in Riverrun will assist players in crafting their first pieces of armor, and characters willing to take a risk will be able to steal some raw materials to use at other forges. Nords, Imperials, Orcs, and Redguards are all character races that enjoy bonuses to smithing, sword-wielding, and other related fields. Early on, players will want to dedicate points to Health and Stamina, as enduring or avoiding hits from enemies with stronger weapons and armor will be vital in the early stages of the game.

Sometimes Skyrim's Dragonborn character may not want to get their hands dirty, but killing is required for the game to progress and to level up. Players looking to let nature finish their dirty work for them should turn their attention towards the Poisonous Dragonborn build. Poison can be accessed by looting enemies such as Frostbite Spiders or Falmer, constructed at an Alchemy table, and through spells and abilities in various skill trees. The goal of this build is to make sure as many aspects of the Dragonborn becomes as poisonous as possible.

Related: Skyrim Locations Most Players Never Find

For players looking to build a poison-based Dragonborn, the race Bosmer or Redguard is required. Each of these races receives a 50% resistance to poisons, which fits quite well with the theme of the character. The spells and powers required for this build are Poison Rune, Paralysis, Serpent Stone, and Mora's Agony, which will help increase available attacks and combat maneuvers, and give players an edge against any and all opponents. Skill points should be dedicated to Alchemy, Restoration, and Sneak. These skills will help players craft more deadly poisons, receive access to poisonous spells, and cause havoc unseen. Additionally, players should imbue their weapons with poisons at every opportunity for maximum damage-over-time.

For those looking to kill one of Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim's dragons with nothing but fisticuffs, the Fist-Fighting Dragonborn character build prevents the use of any weapons, spells, abilities, or Shouts (barring those required to progress in-game), but allows players to make use of whatever armor they come across. Unlike the preceding Elder Scrolls games, unarmed combat does not have a dedicated skill tree in Skyrim, forcing players to discover other methods. There are a few unarmed perks that can be secured through other skill trees, but getting to that point can be difficult for players who run headfirst into combat and fail to plan ahead.

The Fist-Fighting Dragonborn should be a Khajiit, as their claws offer a bonus to base unarmed damage with their race perk. Players should also pursue points in the Heavy Armor skill tree, as it contains a perk called Fists of Steel and adds the base armor rating of any Heavy Armor gauntlets to unarmed damage. Players should also dedicate points to Health and Stamina, in order to endure hits and block more blows in combat. An exclusively fist-fighting Dragonborn should also become a Vampire Lord to gain access to its corresponding skill tree, and eventually acquire Poison Talons. This perk adds 20 points of poison damage to unarmed damage while in the Vampire Lord form, making the unarmed Dragonborn in Skyrim even more deadly.

Skyrim's Dawnguard DLC allowed players to contract Vampirism and become a fully-fledged Vampire Lord. This became a rather popular choice for players to pursue, though the Vampire Lord form failed to deliver on some traditional vampire rules. Players seeking to experience an authentic vampire playthrough of Skyrim should adhere to the traditional set of rules in mythology. After contracting the vampiric virus, players should strictly follow several tenants: no going out into the sunlight, no entering locked houses without an invitation, no crossing running water, and no feeding or attacking a person that smells of garlic.

In order to pursue this style playthrough, players should make their way to the Dawnguard fortress immediately after escaping Helgen. Players will need to progress through the DLC's main questline and become a Vampire Lord via Lord Harkon. This style of playthrough requires players to dedicate skill points to the Vampire Lord, Conjuration, Destruction, and Illusion Skyrim skill trees. Bloodsucking abilities and other absorption powers should be the primary focus of offensive attacks but can be paired with other (non-fire) attacks.

Skyrim only has so much content to complete, and its age can make optimized or regular playthroughs quite tedious, especially when players have experienced everything else. Crafting new character builds and adapting unique playstyles to make Skyrim more interesting can help expand the game's longevity. At the very least, these builds and tactics can help players stay entertained with the franchise while Elder Scrolls 6's development continues.

Next: How Elder Scrolls 6 Can Fix Skyrim's Companion Problem

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