I want to maximize the experience I get while playing so I get more points to spent in skills and my character, because my character is fairly weak and I don't seem to loot much new good items for now. I'm afraid that my low level will get me killed when trying to go for the harder stuff to loot better items.

What are the different kinds of actions that result in experience? Which of them result in the most?

3 Answers 3


The system is levelled - you won't find hugely difficult things you cannot beat. Except giants.

Actions that level up skills:

  • Attacking someone with a weapon
  • Casting a spell on someone or something (things like Clairvoyance do nothing)
  • Sneaking and not being seen in the presence of enemies
  • Opening a lock - seems breaking a lockpick also gives skill xp
  • Picking a pocket
  • Buying or selling something.
  • Successfully persuading/intimidating someone
  • Training
  • Some quest rewards (Finding Amren's family sword gives you +1h and +block)
  • Creating a piece of armour or a weapon, or improving one
  • Enchanting/disenchanting something
  • Taking damage whilst wearing armour
  • Making a potion or a poison

The list isn't exhaustive, though.

  • 2
    To clarify, the only determining factor in the leveling bar is skillups. There is no "xp" per se, just levels of skills increased. Nov 12, 2011 at 15:56

What actions count as experience?

Other answers is pretty comprehensive. I am a level 310 nord. I have all skills 100 except pickpocket, sneaking, and two hand. Maybe I can share my experience.

Most skills can be trained much more easily outside "adventure". Exception is pickpocket, sneaking, and the weapon skills. It's so easy, to train block by well, blocking ebony warrior for 15 minutes.

Perhaps I should add how much experience an action gives? Or perhaps, how to raise skills a lot, without cheating, without consoles. Notice you can get all the perks and have 100 points in all skill now. All you need to do after having a skill to 100 is press space and make the skill legendary. So you need one skill you can most easily level and make that legendary again and again till you got to level 250 where you get all the perks.

First you need to check this https://en.uesp.net/wiki/Skyrim:Skills

Gaining extra levels - from regaining skills - can, up to a point, result in monsters that scale to your level getting tougher, while you're temporarily weaker on account of having given up a skill. Make sure you still have the ability to defeat tough foes even if it's a weapon or Armor skill that you reset (e.g. have a powerful follower, or don't reset all your weapon skills at once.)

You don't, of course, regain the ability to gain skill points from a book to boost the skill, or any of the other one-off rewards that you used on the way up. So you're going to have to re-level most skills the hard way.

If you have learned a spell, you keep that spell, and can thus cast high-level spells at low-level skill, to level up quickly - as long as you have the magicka for it. This applies to Destruction, Conjuration, Restoration, Illusion, Alteration. And of course if you have enchanted gear that reduces spell costs, this still works. Note that Destruction spells require a target, Conjuration spells require the presence of a foe, Alteration requires a thing to be altered, Illusion can require people to trick (including civilians and non-combatants), and Restoration healing spells need to actually heal damage which means that you or somebody nearby have to have been hurt. Undead-turning spells require the presence of an undead - of course this may include you if you are a vampire. Some of the spell skills which are the hardest to reach level 100 in the first place, are the easiest ones to Legendary over and over again if you are properly prepared.

Knowledge of alchemical properties and enchantments is of course retained. (This also means, no more gaining experience by re-learning an alchemical property, or disenchanting an item, but you already know the good recipes.) You're limited by how many ingredients you can get hold of, so stock up.

Although armor, block and smithing skills can be reduced to nothing, you obviously still keep the good quality armor you found or made earlier - and all the Health from the previous actual levels you've gained - so you can train up Armor and Block skills very quickly by equipping your best armor and going toe-to-toe with a giant, which of course wasn't possible when trying to level up armor the first time. Going toe-to-toe against a giant with low Armor skills is also a good opportunity to boost Restoration in the process.

Likewise, weapons and weapon skills (One-handed, Two-handed, Archery). Note that enchantment damage on weapons (+fire, +frost, +shock etc.) does not contribute towards the skill. It appears that increasing a weapon's damage by tempering it, or putting perk points in the weapon skill, does not actually cause the skill to increase any faster: indeed, by doubling the damage output without actually doubling the experience gained, you end up needing to find twice as many enemies if you want to level up against enemies, rather than by training against an essential/regenerating non-hostile target (e.g. Shadowmere, Hadvar, Ralof). So for the most efficient retraining, you want a weapon made of the highest quality material but not tempered or enchanted. "Bound" weapons (classing as Daedric) qualify for this, as do actual daedric, ebony or dragonbone.

Losing all the Smithing perks means that you can't improve future weapons to the same degree as before, until you regain the skill level and perks. (And all those iron building materials that you made for the "Hearthfire" homes don't need to be made a second time.) Jewelry, of course, is unaffected by this, since it requires no perks: and you are free to stock up as many ore ingots as you wish to use in regaining skill levels. Stocking up on high quality Fortify Smithing potions helps give more skill xp from tempering, but not from initially forging a weapon or making jewelry.

Lockpicking has the awkward feature that if you have already picked a given lock, but it has since reset to locked (e.g. a house overnight, or a door or chest in a dungeon that has respawned after clearing), you do not get experience for picking that lock a second time. So it is possible, and eventually inevitable, to actually run out of locks to pick that will actually improve your skill. Even the training locks in the Thieves Guild are subject to this: and once this hits, you eventually get to a place where Lockpicking can only be boosted by paying gold for training (limited to 5x per level) or breaking lockpicks while failing to pick a lock. Failing to pick a lock with the Skeleton Key gives no experience, since the Skeleton Key does not break... Thus, Lockpicking is probably better to keep at 100 and never make it legendary at all, or at least not more than once (there are enough locks in the game to level Lockpicking up to 100 at least twice, maybe three times if you really cast around and have all the expansions).

A lot of pickpocketable items do not respawn in the pockets of people around the kingdom: so you can likewise run low on pockets to pick when trying to level it a second time. There is, however, always the option of paying for training (in any skill, doesn't even have to be pickpocketing) and pickpocketing the gold back, or indeed of doing "fishing" (pickpocket) jobs for Delvin Mallory in the Thieves Guild, since this creates items in the target's pockets to be picked. The latter is reliable but can be a bit slow because of all the travelling involved. Leveling Pickpocket up to 100 a second time should be entirely possible.

A merchant who has been invested in with the "Investor" perk, does not lose that investment when you lose the perk - they retain the higher amount of gold even when you no longer have the perk. Conversely, you cannot invest with them a second time after re-leveling Speech to a high enough level to re-gain the perk. The same is also true of the extra 1000 gold that each merchant gains with the Master Trader perk: they keep it even after you have given up the perk. So even after leveling Speech back up to 100, there is technically no need to put the point back in this perk. However, losing the Merchant and Fence perks removes the ability to sell any item, or stolen items, to any merchant: so you will have to re-allocate points to these perks when your Speech gets back to the appropriate level (and of course re-allocate the "Investor" perk en route because it is a prerequisite for "Fence".) At the very least you'll want "Merchant" back at level 50, just for the convenience.

All the various Speech challenges (persuade / intimidate / bribe) can usually only be done once - the few exceptions (other than bribing / persuading respawning guards to ignore a crime) are glitches, mostly fixed by the Unofficial Patch - so if you decide to make Speech legendary, chances are that your only way of regaining the experience is buying and selling items, and that's going to be a LOT of gold value of items bought and sold. High level Alchemy and Smithing are essential for producing such items to sell, as is setting up all the Thieves Guild fences in advance since they have a much higher gold max.

Especially if you haven't exploited the synergy of Fortify Alchemy / Enchant / Restoration to make gear with stats and value in the millions. Of course if you have exploited that glitch, it's possible to have glitched Fortify Enchant + Smithing potions and Fortify Alchemy + Smithing equipment to be able to boost Alchemy and Smithing from 15 to 100 in one go, then sell an item created that way to boost Speech from 15 to 100 in one go... But that would be cheating, surely. In any case, it has been fixed by the Unofficial Skyrim Patch, in both Legendary and Special Editions. Without this exploit, it may be a better policy not to make Speech legendary - especially considering the loss (albeit temporary) of the Merchant and Fence perks: if you want to do it, do it just once.

Since Enchanting skill gains are based only on the number of items enchanted, or soul gems used to recharge depleted items, leveling Enchanting is no different the second time to the first. Even potions of Fortify Enchant don't affect the skill gains. Stocking up on filled soul gems and items to enchant, is what you need.

Sneak is likewise pretty much exactly the same to level up a second or subsequent time, as it was the first time round. It's just easier to do once you know where to find the right kind of situation to train sneaking.

It basically shows you how extra experience is counted. It varies from skills to skills.

Now. What skills can you raise the fastest?

  1. Alchemy
  2. Speech
  3. Smithing

You only need first 1 and 2 actually. So how to level up those?

You use restoration glitch. Basically you use fortify restoration potion and then wear gears with fortify alchemy enchant. Then you create stronger fortify restoration potion. Keeps doing it untill you make potion with 1 million price.

How fast your alchemy go up depends on the value of potion you make. The value of potion you make depends on your alchemy skill. So if you make potion with 1 million price, your alchemy will go from 15-100 with just 1 or 2 potion.

You make alchemy legendary again and again. I suggest putting equal points between magicka health and stamina.

Then, you sell your potions to alchemy sellers. Again, selling a potion worth 600k total will raise your speech from 15-100. You go up again and again.

Oh ya, one of the potion you can make is fortify enchanting potion. With it, you can drink fortify enchanting potion and enchance your gears for fortify alchemy and fortify smithing gears.

With that method, you can increase your enchancting from 15-100 with just 1-2 enchants.

So yea, the 3rd easiest thing you can train is smithing. However, I rarely do smithing because alchemy save more time.

Google this for more info


Now what?

You want to max other skills too right? to 100 right? Don't worry. You have enough perk points for all.

Again it varies from skills to skills. I strongly suggest not to make other skills legendary. Other skills are a pain to raise.

I found heavy armor and light armor and blocking very easy to raise. Enchant fortify health armor. Go to ebony warrior or a place with many giants and mammoths. Let them hit you like hell. I have 1000 health "naked" and I can train restoration too while the giants and mammoths beat me up. With armor I have 100k health and it doesn't seem to go down at all. Basically, if you have tons of health just let a few people gang up on you and cast heal or whatever to raise blocking, armors, and restoration.

Now for bow, one hand and 2 hands. Use bound weapons. Also do NOT use fortify archery, fortify one hand, or fortify two hand. Enemies die too quickly if I have 10k percent fortify archery.

The skill increase per use of all weapons depends mainly on the base damage. So there is no fast way to level up those skills.

I use bound sword and bound bow for leveling my one hand and archery. Both are extremely slow.

I noticed that bound battleaxes are so lame. https://elderscrolls.fandom.com/wiki/Bound_Battleaxe_(Skyrim) Only 22 damage. Replace that with dragonbone warhammer https://elderscrolls.fandom.com/wiki/Dragonbone_Warhammer

Bound weapons have the best base damage in the game. That best damage is the one that is used to decide how far your skill advance. Look at the uesp link again for detail

So to skill up one hand, two hand, bows, use bound weapons. Do not use +10k to increase one damage skills. Enemies die in one shot and you don't get a lot of shot. Hit each enemy 5-6 times before they die and the game is less boring and you get skills easily.

Now for the magic.

  1. Do NOT dual casts. Magic experience depends on the base damage of the magic. Instead of dual cast, you can turn off dual cast perk or you can cast the spell with 2 hands one at a time. Press left mouse button .5 seconds after right mouse buttons. So you cast with 2 hands separately. Double the speed of skill increase.

  2. Use very expensive spells.

After that alteration. I think I do telekinesis on one stuff and just hold stuff. Think like lifting weight. Of course, you lift using magic instead of hand and you spend mana.

Conjuration? Let some mobs beat you up. This time uses your fortify health gears. Then keep casting bound sword in left and right hand. That increases conjuration greatly.

Destruction? Do NOT use dual cast. If you use dual cast your xp go up twice as slow. I have no idea what the best spells to train destruction is. I am using fireball now. After level 75 I have mana gear and I just spam ignite and ice spear.

Illusion? Similar to destruction. Do not dual cast. If you have dual cast perk done, you can press the left and right button, not at the same time. Now go to a room full of people and cast EXPENSIVE spells that are NOT harmless.

I go to blue palace. On top, we got the queens and her advisors. On the bottom, we got defeated jarl.

So use courage till your illusion is level 25. Use calm till 50. Use Rally till 75. Use Pacify till 100. Once you're 100, you can buy harmony. Some say that you can make illusion legendary and do it again with harmony. I am going to do it. This may be almost as fast as alchemy or speech.

I reach 100 in no time. Here is the screenshot

enter image description here

Note: Confirmed. Casting harmony on that room 7 times will turn illusion to 100 from 15

You must log in to answer this question.

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