I have played LOTS of Skyrim on PC and am a little familiar with the in-game console that lets you add items and things, but I am wondering if there is anyway to use that to modify the game so I can play through considered as 'friendly' with what are usual enemies.

I am not sure if this is possible, but part of why I like these RPG style games is for the 'Role-Playing' aspect and I am hoping to playthrough as a generic Bandit or something similar.

Any help on this is appreciated :-)

NOTE: I do not have the character creation kit or any other addons. I only have the main game of Skyrim (no add-on content) for the PC and cannot buy anything extra. That said, please don't answer with options that require additional purchases.

3 Answers 3


Alright, first you need to pick a starting location. Go here: www.uesp.net choose a location there, and copy the code to the location. This'll be your starting area. Eg, Valthume. Good alternate start as an adventurer who wandered in there for treasure.

Now open Skyrim.ini (NOT SKYRIMPREFS!!!), this is usually here -

C:\Users\%USERNAME%\Documents\My Games\Skyrim

Under the [General] tab, type in

SStartingCell=(area ID)

and save it. Eg, SStartingCell=Valthume00

This will put you in Vathume in a new game the next time you launch Skyrim.

Once saved and closed, head to the folder Skyrim is located in. Create a text document there and call it bandit (not bandit.ini not Bandit, it has to be bandit). Open it and type in the following:

;Leather Armor, Bracers and Boots
player.additem 3619e 1
player.equipitem 3619e
player.additem 13921 1
player.equipitem 13921
player.additem 13920 1
player.equipitem 13920
;Steel Sword and Shield
player.additem 13989 1
player.equipitem 13989
player.additem 13955 1
player.equipitem 13955
;Hunting Bow and Iron Arrows
player.additem 13985 1
player.additem 1397D 25
;Gold and Lockpicks
player.additem f 100
player.additem a 15
;Bandit Ally Faction
player.addtofaction e0cd9 0
;Create Character

Save it, and exit.

And there you go, just launch up Skyrim and begin a new game. You'll then start in the area you wanted. Then, type

bat bandit

This will give you Bandit starting items, a little gold, align you with the bandit faction, and give the starting character menu to customize your race, name, etc.

Some things to note:

As long as the alternate start options are setup, if you start a new game it will skip the first cinematic and you will not be forced to start the main quest-line.

Sometimes the game will auto launch a new game for people. I haven't found a fix for this yet.

This might crash some games and not work. That means the starting area code is wrong. Fix it, and launch it again.

Usually, as soon as the game is started, the character creator will not appear. So use the console command openracemenu and hit enter, this'll allow you to customize your character to your liking.

If you don't appear in the alternate start you created, you probably edited the Skyrimprefs.ini for the starting area code. It has to be under Skyrim.ini, not prefs. Be sure to change that.

Any alternate start mods will prevent this proccess from working. Turn off ALL alternate start mods and you should start in your custom start.

To start the main questline, go into the console and type in the code for the MQ quest you want to begin in. www.uesp.net will help you find these codes.

You CAN explore Helgen before it was destroyed by Alduin, but there are no quests/interiors avalible.

  • there's also a mod that lets you start in a random location everytime, i haven't tested it much but it seemed nice :)
    – Gigala
    Dec 15, 2014 at 11:28
  • 1
    I wonder WHY that works. Obviously the game looks for a file called "bandit" and runs the commands in it when a new name starts, but why "bandit"? Why not "startupscript" or "mage" or "aunttillie" or anything else?
    – George T
    Dec 16, 2014 at 14:47
  • @GeorgeT Thanks for your comment as I noticed a typo. I have corrected it. The file can actually be named anything, but the point is it needs to be short, lowercase, and have no extension (such as .ini). This works to execute multiple commands in the Skyrim console and any console commands can be added to a different file called something else. I.E. You could create a file called power and put the following text in player.additem f 9999999 player.forceav carryweight 9999 Then if you run bat (name of file) you would get lots of gold and have no encumbrance for carrying items.
    – user95525
    Dec 16, 2014 at 16:31
  • 1
    @CircuitStatic Thanks, that explains it. I looked for something that references that file but there wasn't anything. Calling it in a command is what was missing.
    – George T
    Dec 16, 2014 at 16:38

There's a (free) mod called Live Another Life which gives you a number of starting options - one of which is to start as a bandit. This sounds like it'll be exactly what you are looking for.

From the mod's readme:

Outlaw in the Wilds

You will begin as a member of a group of bandits. For the sake of variety, the group of bandits will be chosen at random. You will begin with standard bandit level equipment. The bandit faction at the start location will remain friendly to you as long as you don't piss them off first. Tread carefully though, you WILL have a bounty of 500 gold in the hold the game chooses. The guards will not take kindly to seeing you trotting into a civilized area unless you're prepared to pay up.

You will require Skyrim patched to but I don't think you need any DLC.

  • This doesn't switch your starting faction AFAIK. You can roleplay a bandit at the start, but after that intro you'd still be considered hostile by all bandits in the wilds, and not hostile by the guards of cities and the like.
    – Arperum
    Dec 15, 2014 at 8:53
  • Mm, I think you're right unfortunately - I've edited the answer to include an excerpt from the readme, but it does appear that only your starting bandits share your faction. :(
    – psyk0
    Dec 15, 2014 at 9:03
  • 9
    That actually seems somewhat reasonable to me; there's no real reason to expect any two bandit groups from different territories to be particularly friendly to each other. And if you want to keep roleplaying a bandit and have the guards be hostile to you, all you need to do is not pay up the initial bounty and, if you want, do some suitably in-character misdeeds to acquire a bounty on you in other holds as well. Would be nice to have some way (other than using the console) to become friends with other bandit groups, though. Dec 15, 2014 at 11:24
  • 1
    Live Another Life is also available for XBox One: bethesda.net/en/mods/skyrim/mod-detail/2918744 Jun 30, 2020 at 13:06

There is a mod for those of you late to Skyrim that makes it possible to make any character a follower and another that lets you enslave enemies. Both mean you can amass a huge army of friendlies and area or home guards.

Alternatively, you could sneak up on every single bandit in an area and target them in console commands and type setav aggression 0, that makes them friendly. If they refuse to heed the command, kill them, then target them and type that same command then resurrect. That makes them a whole new character with the zero aggression modifier. I prefer that method, because you can kill whoever you don't like and revive who you do like, but only after murdering the upstart rivals.

With the "Amazing Followers Tweaks" mod, you can make upwards of 32 character NPCs be followers, but with a limit of 5 at a time in a group for raiding or dungeon crawling. It also sets any activated NPC to essential status. You can relocate bandits from all over Skyrim to live and protect the area your original "Live Another Life" mod provides you. But it's buggy and can narf up some NPC scripts and potentially ruin some questing so save before you make a follower and keep that save as a backup in case you run into a glitch. I like AFT but it makes the followers unkillable and I'm not sure how to counter that. I like to risk lives and see who makes it out of perils, so I use it sparingly. If there is one character I really like I'll turn them, and I make a few guards like the guard NPCs on the original EverQuest in safe areas.

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