Basically, I want to try to do a survivalist, perma-death playthrough of Skyrim on master difficulty on PC.

I tried it a few months ago and it was really, really fun. You think about things a lot more before rushing into battles, and it actually feels like you're actually there, especially when you refuse to fast travel. You start pining for peaceful locations when your potions are running low and you're stuck in forsworn turf.

The thing is, on this previous play-through, I was killed by a bounty hunter in one hit. Despite all my precautionary wards, amulets and potions, this guy came up to me and killed me in one. He looked like just a normal human (rather than a dragon priest or anything) so there was no way of telling he was going to do this.

How can I view an NPC's level? Or prevent being one-shotted?

  • Hey, @Starkers. I've slightly modified the wording of the question, so that mods can still be an answer, but it doesn't preclude anything already in-game from answering your question.
    – Frank
    Jul 17, 2013 at 18:35
  • @fbueckert Good plan!
    – Starkers
    Jul 17, 2013 at 18:38
  • Attack him. If he kills you, he is probably way higher than you.
    – user28015
    Jul 17, 2013 at 19:59
  • The way I prevent being one-shotted is max sneak, 1-handed weapons, and pickpocket. Then I just sneak up to someone, steal their weapons and armor from their body and kill them in one hit. Edit: I'm just being cheeky, I don't think there's a good way besides console commands to check the level of a character.
    – nukeforum
    Oct 9, 2015 at 13:15

4 Answers 4


You can use the console command getlevel after targeting the NPC to determine his level. This obviously only works on PC, there is no way to do that on a console.

As for not getting one-hit killed, you need to use smithing to improve your armor and get some magic resistance.

  • 2
    Ah I am on PC so that's okay. Sounds a bit annoying and non-immersive though :/
    – Starkers
    Jul 17, 2013 at 18:42
  • 1
    and showing a number next to some healthbar or name is immerssive? I don't think so Tim. Also, in character levels do not exist.
    – user28015
    Jul 17, 2013 at 19:59
  • 2
    Well, a HUD display would be less intrusive, yeah..
    – Starkers
    Jul 17, 2013 at 20:28

Here's what you're looking for.

Display Enemy Level https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/90041


Many enemies are harder when you level up because they level with you. They have a minimum amount for example a giant's minimum level is 36. The NPC with the highest level is Arngier in High Hrothgar who is level 150.


I know this thread is old... But this might help those looking anyway. Guess the Distance mod, on nexusmods, helps with this. It is fairly immersive specially with the telescope addon. http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/30816/

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