I'm level 16 which makes battling many Draugr Wrights hard. My defense is just way too low, and I don't have enough time or strong enough magic to take them out.

My one-handed skill is at 62 and my strongest weapon does 33+10 enchanted damage. Are there any ways to level up easily?

  • 2
    I realize the question is old, but for those having trouble battling large groups of wights, you should a) max Unrelenting Force for when you need to get out of a bind, and b) find the Ebony Armor, which poisons nearby enemies and has an ebony armor rating as well.
    – zpletan
    Dec 1, 2015 at 17:54

19 Answers 19


In Skyrim, it is actually counter-productive to level up quickly. While this does make you stronger, it will make your enemies stronger as well, because power level of enemies in Skyrim is usually based off your level. So leveling up isn't going to help much.

More specific to your problem, with 62 One-handed skill, your offense probably isn't your biggest problem. You probably want to level up your Armor and/or Block skill, the easiest way to do that is going to be finding something (Not a mage-type) that isn't too threatening and let it pound on you for awhile. When your health gets low, back off (or kill it), heal, then repeat.

Notably, the harder your chosen enemy hits you, the more skill you gain, so going for a bigger opponent isn't a bad idea. Just make sure it isn't strong enough to kill you with a few hits. If you're a fan of Blocking, all of the above applies, but also add in shield-bashing for doing damage.

If you have some gold handy, you could also pay a trainer to help you level up the skills you need. Considering your combat problems One-handed, Armor (whichever type you're using) and Block are going to be the ones you want to spend on.

  • 2
    Correct me if I am wrong, but I remember that mobs only scale in level if you newly discover the area, meaning that, if you enter a cave at level one, the mobs spawning there will remain around that level, even when you are level 50. While new areas when you are level 50, will become level 50ish areas when you first discover them?
    – Sharain
    Jan 21, 2015 at 11:51
  • 3
    +1. Block is really strong, and IMO much better than dual wielding
    – Ciacciu
    Jan 21, 2015 at 15:22
  • 1
    Well, yes, duel-wielding in an unmodded game is onyl nice to look at; 1hand+shield is better in most ways for defensive reasons and 2 handed is better for offensive reasons.
    – Tarkenfire
    Jan 21, 2015 at 19:34
  • However, we must note that, if we use the 1 hand offence 1 hand defence varialtion, we lost substancial benefits to perks in the offence tree. I would say, get a better armour, and invest a little more on your health. Glass armor or the dragonscale armor will be some of my top choices.
    – Kim Minseo
    Jan 26, 2015 at 14:23
  • 2
    @ShadowZ. Yes, but if you have money lying around buying 5 skill levels towards your next character level is considerably quicker than any power-leveling directed towards the same goal. Trainers aren't going to do all the work for you, but they can certainly speed things up a bit.
    – CrusaderJ
    Jan 26, 2015 at 23:00

It is rather boring but..

You could wear a combination of heavy & light armour.

A shield in on hand

Restoration spell in the other.

Find a pack of wolves, Hold down block and let them hack at you, heal when you need to.

You will have block, light armour, heavy armour & restoration all levelling up fairly quickly.


Horses have a ridiculous amount of health. Buy one, then grind on that. You would want to be using Healing Hands while attacking with your other hand. I hit level 38 within the first hour of doing this.


You gain exp\level every time you level a skill up. The most popular and easiest skills to level are blacksmith and one-hand. To level one-hand you must dual-wield some one-hand weapons, type doesn't matter, but I recommend two axes as they have the best speed and damage balance, as well as weight. It will require you to fight, but there are plenty of quests that send you to various areas to fend of bandits and such, earning you some cash, and making you able to pick up loot to sell.

For blacksmith, make iron daggers. Iron is really common, so it's cheap too. When fighting monsters, loot whatever you can, then sell what you don't need to vendors. Spend the cash on buying materials for making items as blacksmith. Iron bars, iron ore and leather\leather strips is what you want. Make iron daggers primarly, then make a set of armor from new tires of whatever armor you want to use (lite\heavy), same with weapons. You can also use any gold, silver and gems to make jewelry. If you want, keep everything you make so you can later enchant them for even more levels. Tho you best have a house for storing\dumping them. In the beginning it's better to just sell stuff off and use the cash to buy more materials.

Here is a useful page where you can see the spawn areas for various iron ore nodes: http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Skyrim:Iron_Ore#Iron_Ore

  • Well crusader I always use duel wield so I don't block. I belive in the theory that offense in the best defense and vise versa. I mainly use duel wield. I'm in the skuldafn temple where I can't fast travel even when I'm outside. I'm in the mission "The World-Eater's Eyrie" and there are too many strong opponents for me to face with my weapons.
    – jeff
    Jan 21, 2015 at 11:57
  • 1
    Iron daggers have fallen out of favor somewhat since the experience gain is now based on the value of the crafted item. Jewelry (in particular the one actually using gems) and dwarven bows (from melted down dwemer junk) are usually recommended these days. Jan 21, 2015 at 12:08
  • Ah, thanks for the heads up about that. Makes more sense. But still as iron and leather is piss cheap and easy to find\buy without much need of dungeon diving, it's still somewhat viable, in my opinion.
    – Sharain
    Jan 21, 2015 at 12:15
  • If you are at skuldafn at level 16, then well done, and why ?? I have never tried it below level 40. I think that the enemies there start at level 25 - but i might be wrong. My strategy there was always to shout and run - and use the Sanguine rose too. Jan 21, 2015 at 14:33
  • On further thought - I am very suprised you managed to get to Skuldafin and still remain level at only level 16. You need to get a large % of the words of power before you can get to the Throat of the World, and then you need to get the elder scroll before you can even get to Skuldafin, and I can't imagine doing that without leveling higher than 16. Jan 21, 2015 at 14:42

It also helps if you can keep a look out for simply better kit. By dungeon diving (i.e. miscellaneous side quests, or even just going into a cave you find while travelling), will give you valuable extra gold, and you can gain more by the following activities :

  • Turn Silver and Gold into jewellery - which is nearly always more valuable than the raw materiels
  • Enchant kit and sell it - again the enchanted item is always worth more.

By Level 16 there should be some decent kit becoming available at local traders, Dwarven/Elven, and if you can enchant it it is even better.

Don't be afraid to destory low level kit by disenchanting it either, that single act will repay you handsomely in future.

There are some quests which will specifically help you against things like Draugrs. The Medinia quest gives you dawn breaker, which is my weapon of choice now. and "The only cure quest" gives you a very useful sheild


Following your actual question, I have often trained illusion magic for quick exp and levels. My favorite spell early on for this purpose is 'muffle', grab some illusion-reduction gear and magika-regen gear and go spam some muffle. Once you have access to the master level spells, such as AoE spells, cast those in whiterun for about 1 character level per cast(costs tons of magika, be wary). Although I agree with the above comments and answers, that would be a good way to level up your character.


another quick way to level up is to clear caves. generally bandits aren't that hard. go in sneaking for passive levelling, and then use whatever skills. or switch it up and use a skill you don't normally use -- the game levels that up faster, adding to your overall level progress much faster-- it's a ratio thing.


Step 1. Become the Arch Mage at Winterhold which includes getting all his equipment
Step 2. Practice the use of Telekinesis, which helps level up your alternation skills FAST
Step 3. Once your alteration skills max out at 100, Legendary that skill
Step 4. Repeat Steps 2 and 3.

I discovered this process one day when I was looking to expand my Mage's skill set. I've done only a few alteration spells but nothing that made my character excel. Finally I decided to try telekinesis. I went to Dragons Reach in Whiterun out onto the castle porch. There I found a table with some loose objects. That's when I realized what telekinesis can do. Try it for yourself.

It might take a little while if you are not a skilled magic user. Also you should stack your upgrages in the alteration skillset all the way up to adept alteration magic as this helps use telekinesis at a longer rate which helps leveling up your alteration skills more quickly as you max it out. Once you Legendary your alteration skill set you can then spend those extra points you recieve on other skills you wish to upgrade.

It's good to see that good old fashioned level grinding is still ever present in the RPG genre, isn't it?


How to level up faster

Sneak skill

Go to the greybeards. In order to access them you will need to follow the main quest line. Once you reached them, use the shout for Unrelenting Force with all its shout powers. Then wait for an ingame hour. After that you can see the greybeards praying. Take a dagger (iron is recommended) then just slice their backs (BEWARE: By doing this they may turn around, or switch spots with another greybeard). This is also a good method to level the sneak skill.

One handed/Two handed/Destructive/Restoration

You need a Shadowmere or any other horse. Hit it with a weak sword, a weak destructive spell or a weak greatsword continually. When your horse has low health just heal the horse back up with a restoration spell (if you are new to the game go to court mage in Winterhold in Dragonreach buy all the spells from him)

Heavy armour/Light armour/Block/Restoration

If you have a high level, attack a giant but do not kill it (make sure that there is only one giant around). Your health needs to be close to 150 Hitpoints. Let it smack you and be sure to heal yourself back up quickly. If you are low level, look for a wolf instead and block its attacks.


Kill an animal or person and start casting Soul Trap. Once you got the skill on 90+, ho to the college of winterhold located in winterhold and go to Phinis he will give you a quest. By finishing this you will receive a Sigil Stone. With this stone you can turn elbony weapons and armour into daedric equipment.


Theres definitely a few good ways to do this.

1) smithing. I general start off by collecting all the leather and iron I can find making leather bracers and iron arrows early on will give you a pretty solid boost use that to unlock the ability to smith other armor types and keep making them arrows the higher grade arrows you make the more XP you get also jewelry if you happen to be a magic user and have the transmute spell you can convert your iron ore into silver ore and silver ore into gold

Do this until you max out then I would suggest making whatever dragon scale gear you'll need and enhance it at an armor table or grindstone after you have done this make it a legendary skill and repeat the process

You can choose to sell off your bracers and jewelry or use those items for enchanting

2) enchanting. If you have a good collection of jewelry and bracers enchant them with whatever you have available for jewelry I try to go with waterbreathing as it doesn't have any certain percentage of effect thus allowing you to use petty soul gems for the enchantment process and maximizing the value of the item itself for selling

Just like with smithing when you have maxed out double enchant whatever armor weapons and jewelry you may need to maximize your characters badassery rinse and repeat

3) illusion. Quite simply use the muffle spell I've and over no certain conditions have to be met to gain XP you simply have to use the spell as you get higher illusion level it will start to take a bit longer do this rinse and repeat

4) conjuration. Learning the conjure flame atranoch and bound sword help level this skill early on summon your atranoch let it get a hit or two in then cast another with the bound sword use the spell get a hit in step back and sheath the spell and recast and strike again and repeat each cast and attack of both spells will give you XP be sure to get stronger atranochs as you progress

Conjuration is one of the few skill sets I don't tend to make legendary for a couple reasons one of the most useful being getting the perk for bound weapons to cast soul trap on their targets filling up all those soul gems youll need for enchanting along with the bound sword helping increase your one handed skill the second reason and probably the most fun is being able to summon two demora lords into battle if you find yourself in a pinch or you really just want to sit back and watch that troublesome group of bandits suffer you can do like I do and keep it at 100 or you can rinse and repeat


I know this is a couple months old but I want to share one great tip that I found while raging at the graybeards xD

However, if you have made the "horn of jurgen" quest, all you need to do is to travel to high hrothgar and walk into the middle. All 4 graybeards will circulate around the building and prey or meditate or whatever they do, but it is always 1 or 2 in the middle. Now select a target and sneak! When hidden (closed eye) attack with ONE attack (doesn't matter if it's power attack or regular attack - but power levels up one handed fastest) he will see you but not attack, only move on to the next place. Repeat the procedure again and every 2-3 time a skill will level up (most likely sneak and then one handed) you can also do this with bow or destruction spells to level up their skills. But remember to save now and then in case they see you before the attack! I leveled up from lv 20 to 25 in just a couple of minutes like this lol and my sneak skill went from 53 to 67 ;3

Good luck!


If you are going to follow CrusaderJ's advice to advance your blocking skill, find a dragon, ground him, then go in front of his face and keep blocking his attacks with a shield and healing yourself when needed. This will increase very quickly your blocking skill and also your overall level.

When your blocking skill reaches its maximum level, you can make it legendary and start over again.

Just be careful not to die in the process! :) (especially you may want to have your blocking skill not too low when you do this...)

PS.: this is really boring, anyway, and also, this method kinda ruins the fun of the game. But you can do this to quickly increase your defense a bit, if you need it.


You didn't mention whether you have a follower with you, but if not, I would suggest getting one (see http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Skyrim:Followers for more information). A follower provides you with another source of damage and carrying capacity, but depending on your choice of follower, can also act as a tank. This can help by reducing the amount of damage you take so you can survive longer (and thus do more damage). You just have to be careful when going into melee combat with a follower as you can damage them and potentially kill them permanently (as opposed to the follower being "downed" and regenerating health to get back up and fight when an enemy does enough damage to them).

Another suggestion for boosting damage is to level your Sneak skill. Sneaking can boost damage significantly due to a few perks in the sneak tree. Since you are using one handed weapons, you will want to look at Backstab (one handed sneak attacks do 6x damage) and Assassin's Blade (sneak attacks with daggers do 15x damage). If not now, maybe at a higher level with higher grade weapons, you will find that opening up with a sneak attack can instantly kill the enemy due to the damage resulting from the damage multiplier perk(s).


Best thing is to level up your conjuring skill by buying Soul Trap. Kill a person (or animal) and just keep casting it on that person then join thieves guild (in Riften) and have loads of lockpicks.

Once you're part of the thieves guild, go to where the treasures are and keep on breaking lock picks to level it up. And to level up pickpocket, go to Riften and pickpocket a guard when they aren't looking. You will go to jail. Break yourself out of the cell, kill the 2 guards that are there, and there will be a person in prison. Put stuff in his pocket and keep pickpocketing the stuff out.

  • 3
    That's a terrible idea honestly Nov 22, 2015 at 20:34

One of the easiest ways is in fact blacksmithing and pickpocket. This method works effectively at low levels. Steps below

  1. Go to markarth and find the female Orc blacksmith
  2. Train blacksmithing level one at a time
  3. Pickpocket the gold you used for training (make sure you quicksaved!!)
  4. Use up all the training possibilities for that level (xp carries over)
  5. Repeat

Note you can get your blacksmithing up to level 50 no problem. If you use heavy armor, you'll be at Orcish smithing and can use dwemer materials for training to level 60 where you get arcane blacksmith (upgrade enchanted armor/weapons).

You are going to face some trouble afterwards with tougher enemies, but you'll be on a good way to dragon armor


As you have only mentioned the one-handed skill and your defenses, I will make only suggestions for those areas:

Getting the most out of leveling one-handed requires two pieces of knowledge:

  1. The amount of experience gain towards a skill level-up relies on base weapon damage (see "Gaining Skill XP" section here: UESP: One-handed skill) meaning unmodified (via blacksmithing or enchanting) daedric and dragonbone weaponry will yield a desirable result. I say unmodified because it synergizes better with point #2 when the targets don't die any quicker than necessary.
  2. More swings in a shorter time frame will hasten your journey, thus using the Elemental Fury shout when swinging will net you gains much faster.

As for your defenses: Compounding on what CrusaderJ said, letting bigger things hit you will get you level-ups quicker. That said, giants, dragons, and draugr death overlords are going to be your best bets but some of those you may wish to avoid initially so start small (sabre cat or generic bear). To help survivability, take along a durable follower like Lydia so that if things get out of hand, you can duck behind her and the enemy's focus will shift to her allowing you to heal up.

Additional defensive note: I can't vouche for Shaun's alteration-leveling methodology as I've never used it but I would invest in leveling alteration regardless. An often overlooked perk high-enough in the alteration tree is "Magic Resistance" which, with three perk points invested, can net you 30% blocked harmful magic damage.

Finally, a few bonuses: Always have a standing stone buff active respective to the skill it governs. For most physical offense skills and defensive skills, you should have the warrior stone active for 20% faster increase in skill leveling. Additionally, if you have Dawnguard installed, you can opt to complete the Lost to the Ages questline (obtained by reading The Aetherium Wars book) and getting the Aetherial Crown and storing the Lover stone inside it (15% faster skill increase) that will stack with whatever other standing stone buff you have (for 35% total). If you do not have Dawnguard, you can always sleep in a bed for that experience bonus with the only drawback being that it's temporary.


For anyone looking at this post on Xbox, here's how I leveled up when I played, though it takes a long time. In total I'm showing how to upgrade restoration, alteration, block, speech, smithing, illusion, lock picking and sneak.

before reading, know that the only way to level up is by leveling up your skills.

Restoration - definitely not the fastest way to level up, but it works. Especially if you have a follower. I noticed simple healing magic didn't normally level me up, by jumping off a high surface and healing over and over etc. - so what I did was heal other people when they were downed. This is slow but it does work. You can get it up a little bit during the block section.

Alteration - Got me about 4 levels in an hour just by using the telekinesis spell on random objects. Once your magika runs out, just click the wait button and repeat. Also check smithing.

Block - Easiest way to level up in my opinion. Equip a good shield in one hand, and a heal spell in the other. Go to Markarth (far top left on the map) and kill one guard inside the city. Now leave the city and immediately go left or right, pushing through all the guards who teleport outside. while going up the steps you'll see a hole going toward outside. (you cannot leave through the hole!) Go in there, crouch and hold the block button.There will be LOTS of guards. This worked great for me and it took around 40 minutes to get from block 57-100.

Speech - For this one, make sure the khajit are in dawnstar, and get really valuable items. Sell them all to him. Now, go near the dawnstar mine entrance and you'll see a cluster of 3 rocks to the left, near a small tree. Crouch and look in the middle of these rocks and there will be an invisible chest, holding all of the khajits inventory and money (along with your valuable things). If you take the gold, they won't be able to buy anything else from you, (selling things will get your speech up), so put all your gold inside. Take your valuable items and sell them again, rinse and repeat. Eventually when your speech is high, you can take all the gold. I did this one in about an hour an a half, but it works like a treat.

smithing - For smithing you need the transmute spell, an alteration spell. When you have that, gather all of the iron, silver and gold ore & ingots that yo see in skyrim. A lot of mines have these lying around, and smiths from major cities. you can also do the exploit of buying from a shopkeeper, saving, hitting the same shopkeeper, and loading the save again to restock her inventory while keeping the items. If this is too much weight for you, give it to a follower. You can even give him rings and armor to let him have more carry strength. Now go to any smith in skyrim with a smelter and an anvil (I used my home at Windstead Manor, but the one in Windhelm works just as good. put all the ore and ingots in your inventory. Equip the transmute spell on both hands and continue to spam it and then wait (to regain magika). Doing this will turn your iron into silver, and silver into gold. Smelt all the gold ore afterwards, and go to the anvil>jewelry>gold ring. Now you'll have a LOT of gold rings in your inventory, which you can sell and possibly even use for the speech section. Again, if there's too much weight, give them to a follower.

Illusion I literally sat there spamming muffle on both hands and waiting while crouched.

lock picking For this one DO NOT use the tower stone as using it on locks gives away precious lock picking exp. Instead, lockpick all locks you can find, even if there out of your way, and collect all lockpicks you find. You can also use the shop exploit I talked about earlier to continue buying lockpicks from almost every shopkeeper. Go to calcelmos museum in Markarth for a LOT of locks to pick, varying in difficulties. It will be considered trespassing unless he gives you the museum key. (lockpick it first while sneaking unless you have the perk, then get the key.

Sneak Basically just be sneaking in every dungeon. Getting sneak attacks also helps your exp bar.

One handed, two handed, conjuration, light/heavy armor should come naturally based on your play style. I use the mace of molag bal, ethereal shield, namiras ring, Krosis, water walking boots and the upgraded thieves guild set which you get for completing the thieves guild quest line. This got me light and heavy armor exp, lots of useful perks and skills, one handed exp, block expand even sneak exp. Use whatever you fancy, but Skyrim was a breeze after getting this set.

NOTE I used skyrim: special addition with no mods, So I'm not sure if you need the dlcs for these. Hope this answer helped you guys.

  • 1
    "here's how I leveled up quick when I played, though it takes a long time", this is extremely contradictory. If it takes a long time its not really quick is it.
    – Kyle Rone
    May 17, 2019 at 15:45

For Skuldafn i went in at level 25. draugr deathlords were tough. i used fire breath and unrelenting force shouts to clear the way and just ran, one hand (enchanted sword) and destruction magic to get into some random room/corner (mixed build character, warrior heavy) and hid. then suck around and picked off the draugr one by one


Here are some chit codes which can help

  1. To level up by 1 Advance PC Level or Advance PCLevel
  2. or use player.setLevel # where # = level (example player.setlevel 55)

    when your level is higher you also need more health, use this player.resethelth

  • 1
    This is not an answer to the question he asked.
    – Sunspawn
    Feb 9, 2016 at 12:40

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .