I am having trouble choosing a new character on my new game in Skyrim. I don't know whether I would like to be a Mage, Warrior or Thief. I like the sound of Thief because gold is involved, warrior because I like to be able to get in there and take damage...and deal it. And mages are cool because spells are effective against most enemies and you can upgrade your magika until you are unstoppable and learn awesome spells.

So, I'm quite stuck on choice and who would make a good vampire as well? Most people say Dark Elf, but what do you think?

  • basically you want everything but archery then?
    – Colin D
    Commented May 8, 2013 at 14:32

9 Answers 9


You don't have to restrict yourself to any one class, furthermore racial bonuses are completely irrelevant compared to an average character's abilities.

2 races stand out with their racial bonuses, though: high elves and khajiits.

High elves have a +50 bonus to mana, the only racial bonus that raises a primary stat (health, mana, stamina), which is very helpful for any character that is going to do magic, even as a secondary activity, as it frees up 5 level ups' worth of points to be invested into something else.

Khajiits have unlimited nightivision, the only other way of getting nightvision is becoming a vampire (in vanilla, anyway), and a bonus to unarmed damage (22 vs 10 for argonians and 4 for everybody else), which can only be raised by wearing heavy gauntlets and have the appropriate high-tier heavy armor perk or by wearing/disenchanting Gloves of the Pugilist. It certainly makes fistfights less tedious.

  • With that being said, when you level whatever character you choose, level up the 'specializations' you want (thief, mage, etc). Don't try to level ALL of them. If you want to be a thief, level those that relate to that first and leave the others alone until later in the game.
    – KiloJKilo
    Commented Jun 17, 2012 at 0:43
  • 1
    I'd just like to mention that you can also raise your unarmed damage through the use of the gloves of the pugilist or by disenchanting the gloves of the pugilist and applying that enchantment to another equipable item capable of holding the enchantment. Commented Oct 3, 2012 at 14:54


  • High elf (bonus magicka and power that greatly regenerates magicka)
  • Breton (power to absorb spells)


  • Breton, Orc, Redguard, Argonian


  • Khajit (Bonus to stealth etc.)
  • Argonian (Bonus to alchemy, lockpicking etc.)
  • Orc (Imagine the damage multiplier that an assassin can reach. Now multiply it by 2 with orc Racial)
  • Definitely Khajiit for a stealthy character.
    – Alan B
    Commented Jun 14, 2012 at 7:55
  • 2
    If you feel like playing a sneaky assassin, I'd say Argonian to be honest. They do well in combat as well tho, but isnt it fun to sneak potent poisons into your enemies pockets? >:3 Commented Jun 14, 2012 at 17:28
  • That's just plain nasty. :)
    – Alan B
    Commented Jun 15, 2012 at 8:27
  • What happened to poor old wood elf Commented May 14, 2014 at 11:27
  • @CerberusN61 Old and poor.
    – Axoren
    Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 13:18

The race bonuses doesn't make that much difference in the long run. Perhaps in the beginning the 50 points extra mana is nice. But after 50-100 hours of playing they more or less level out and the choices you make as a player is what really counts. It's better to have a character that you love and you'll spend more time playing the game and leveling up.

And the possibility of having an unconventional figuration is what makes the Elder Scrolls series so amazing compared to many other RPG's where a mage has to be a certain class or race and can not wear heavy armor or use certain weapons.

Follow your heart!

  • 1
    Couldn't have said it any better. Any race can potentially become powerful, especially now with the new legendary update with higher level caps. Commented May 11, 2013 at 18:52

In my opinion

Tank/Juggernaut- Orc or Argonian.. Orc's because of their ability 50% more damage and less damage taken

Offensive Mage- High Elf.. Because of their ability 10x magic regen for 60 seconds

Defensive Mage- Breton.. Because of the passive magic resist and their ability

Vampire- Dark Elf.. Because of their passive 50% fire resist which will counter the vampires -50% to fire

Berserker- Redguard, Orc or Nord.. Reds and Orcs because of their abilitys, Nord because of their +10 to two handed

Theif- Argonian or Khajiit.. Argonians because of their +10 to lock picking and Khajiit because of their natural stealth

Archer- Wood Elf or Khajiit.. Wood Elf because +10 to archery and Khajiit if you mostly attack at night because of their ability

Assassin- Khajiit.. Because of their natural stealth

Balanced- Imperial.. Their stats are evened into all three Colours

Its entirely up to you how you would like to build your class and what race to do, this is mainly for people who cant really decide.

  • Dark Elves(Dunmer) also make the most use of Vampirism, because dark elves start with higher sneak and illusion perks which are very effective in the long run - trust me , I'm a level 53 Dunmer Commented May 14, 2014 at 11:31

High Elves or Bretons would make good mages. They both get good racial bonuses and stuff. For the thief, Khajiit would be best. For the warrior, and Orc would be great. Bretons could make good warriors if you build them right with the skill tree and all. And any race can make good vampires, but Wood Elves and Argonians are the hardest races to make vampires due to their resistance to disease. Hope this helped :)

  • Altmer/ High Elf:Mage. And Only Mage.
  • Bosmer/Wood Elf:Archer
  • Dunmer/ Dark Elf:Thief/ Assassin or Destruction Mage
  • Breton: Mage/ Battle mage.
  • Nord: Warrior
  • Redguard: Warrior
  • Imperial: Anything
  • Argonian: Thief/ Assassin
  • Khajiit: Thief/ Assassin
  • Orc: Warrior. And Only Warrior
  • 2
    Especially in Skyrim, saying a race is fit for "only" one build is untrue. Commented Nov 23, 2012 at 16:34

Skyrim is designed so that you don't have to worry about statistics. So you could pick a orc mage and soon you would make up that ground. Also try to experiment with races and abilities. For example, try a breton archer on master. This makes the game more fun and more realistic.

Third and final point: roleplay. Meaning if your character doesn't know it you don't do it. For example, if you know a good quest but your character has no way of knowing, you wouldn't do that quest. Because how would your character know. Also don't do smiting it makes the game really not very fun. Don't play the game to create the most powerful character because that defeats the purpose of the play through.

And have fun :)


For a heavy armor warrior or an assassin; Orsimer. For a light armor warrior; Nord. For a stealthy archer; Bosmer. For a dual wielding berserker; Redguard. For an all around mage; Altmer. For a light armor spellsword; Dunmer. For a necromancer; Breton. For a paladin(heavy armor, 1h, restoration); Imperial. For a brawler, assassin, or thief; Kajiit. For a high health warrior or thief; Argonian.


The best race is Orcs because the main thing that makes the race different is their power. Only that race has this power and the Orcs power is Rage. I was able to kill 2 giants by level 5 using rage.

Out of 10 races the best are:

Fighter is Orc with doing 50% more damage while only taking 50% for 60 sec. Adds up to 400% over the Nord who only makes weak people flee for 30 sec.

Mage is High Elf with +50 extra magicka and able to do Highborn which makes your magicka go up 10× faster for 60 sec.

Thief is Dark Elf they always use light armor and daggers while their power is having weak fire around the user for 60 sec. And they are also 50% resistant to fire.

  • @desaivv things like "dark elf always use light armor and daggers" probably don't help either.
    – kotekzot
    Commented Oct 3, 2012 at 17:40

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